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London Basics; What to do and see on your 1st visit.

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I always tell you, if you have not traveled much, London must be one of your first destinations. It’s a city that from the first time I went it caught me; So modern and so traditional at the same time and in perfect coexistence. It has everything you could need as a visitor; Shops, restaurants, art, history … and is perfectly connected to other cities in the middle distance.

This is my tour of Central London when I visit with people who have not been before.

What to see in London; The essentials

Go by underground to the Oxford Circus stop, in the center of Oxford Street. If you like shopping you will have to resist to enter their stores, you do not want to go all day with the bags, do not you?

From there you have to follow Regent Street. It is a beautiful stately street, in fact, it was built to separate it from soho, a less respectable part of the city. At the moment its buildings are of offices, and in the low ones, they have multiple well-known stores in London like Hamleys toy store.

With the movement in the street, you will soon realize that you are coming to one of the most visited places, not only in London but the world. Piccadilly Circus will appear before your eyes. I recommend that you visit her day and night because seeing her full-color displays is quite a spectacle.

Do not be in a hurry, you can sit on the stairs of your central statue and watch people pass or have a refreshing drink.

From Piccadilly, you can access different neighborhoods of the city center, as they are all relatively close, but our route takes us down Regent Street again. At the end of the street, you will cross another on your way: Pall Mall which is the one you have to follow to get to Trafalgar Square.

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Trafalgar Square and the National Galery

Admiral Nelson will welcome you from the top of the column. You can try to climb one of the lions at your feet to take the picture, but it is a bit big and also if the police see you will take a little anger. At the back of the admiral there is a beautiful building with a neoclassical facade; Is the National Gallery. If you like art, you can not leave London without going to see many of his works. My favorite; The Arnolfini Marriage. Also from its entrance, you can see the square with the Big Ben in the background.

Among the buildings surrounding the square are also the embassies of some countries such as South Africa. That is why in this area you will find it difficult to find litter bins, they are security matters.

Continue your walk to the famous clock, but shortly after exiting the square you must turn into The Mall without wanting to visit Buckingham Palace, which is just at the end of this real walk. The palace is only open to the public for a few days in August, while the summer queen at Windsor, but you can not go to London and not see it even outside, right?

If you really want to see it in full activity, return the next morning to see the change of guard. That yes, you will have to get up early to get a place.

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Big Ben; Must visit

Once you have taken a photo of rigor, you can cross St. James Park and take a quiet walk, even take something quietly in one of their cafes. Just across the park is the most photographed monument; The tower of Elizabeth II, better known as Big Ben. It is one of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen.

Maybe because the first time I went to London I had seen it in so many pictures that I had no special illusion to see it. It is essential to return to visit at night to see in more detail all the colors of the shields and details of its facade.

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In contrast to tradition, just across the bridge is the London Eye. Open to the public in 2000, it is the third largest water-wheel in the world. At your entrance, there is an exhibition of photos with the process of building the Ferris wheel quite curious.

If I tell you the truth, I have never gone up, although whenever I say “This time if” and then it never arrives …  Sometimes due to its price and others for the rows there. I hope I can do it next time.

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