No matter where you’re from, you won’t find a city like London anywhere else. Not only is it large in size (the biggest in Europe in fact), but it’s also large in personality. To say it’s vibrant would be an understatement; something along the lines of wildly exciting or utterly exhilarating would be a much closer fit.
Aside from doing the typically cliché (and compulsory) touristy things people do in London, such as taking a ride on a double decker bus, pretending to take a call in a red phone box and posing with the Royal Guards, London is jam-packed to the brim with wonderful sights, attractions, events, exhibitions, restaurants, museums, theatres, shopping… the list could go on forever.
To save you a heap of time, and hopefully inspire you to step away from the Royal Guards and red phone boxes next time you’re in the capital, here’s our exclusive list of top things to do in London on a short break.
1. Explore London’s most historical palaces
You’re never far away from a historic palace in London and let’s be honest, we wouldn’t have it any other way. With the Crown Jewels residing at the Tower of London, ghost tours going on at Hampton Court Palace and the chance to see Queen Victoria’s childhood home at Kensington Palace, you’re in for a truly royal treat.
And, how could we forget Buckingham Palace itself? As well as marvelling at this iconic landmark from the outside, you can now explore the Queen’s residence and its impressive state rooms and spectacular gardens on an exclusive short break package with a night’s stay at the 4* Cavendish London Hotel.
2. Visit Rubens and His Legacy: Van Dyck to Cezanne at The Royal Academy of Arts
Art-lovers in the capital will soon be flocking to see this one-off exhibition at The Royal Academy of Arts and you should too. Showcasing the fascinating artistry of Rubens, as well as works inspired by the Flemish Baroque painter, this is your chance to see prints from a collection of European masters including Picasso and Delacroix.
Opening from 24th January to 14th April 2015, this highly anticipated art exhibition is definitely one for the diary.
3. See a theatre show at the West End
Visiting London without visiting the West End is like eating a sandwich with no filling. A trip to theatre land is a must whilst in the Capital, but don’t worry if you’re not sure about jazz hands, there really is an eclectic mix of shows out there to appeal to everyone!
There’s light-hearted shows like Disney’s The Lion King and Wicked the Musical, controversial comedies such as The Book of Mormon, and even plenty of plays to keep you entertained from The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night Time to War Horse. And for those theatre-goers who love a classic, there’s always Les Miserables, Miss Saigon and 2015’s newest West End hit, Gypsy.
4. Brave a history lesson with a difference at the London Dungeons
London isn’t short of an attraction or two, and with the likes of Madame Tussauds, Sea Life and Ripley’s Believe It or Not? to choose from you’ll be simply spoilt for choice! That said, one of our favourites at SuperBreak HQ is The London Dungeon.
Here you can discover more than 1,000 years of London’s past in the most fun-filled (and at times slightly scary) way. With plenty of laughs mixed in with a few shocks, this 90 minutes theatrical attraction complete with thrilling rides promises a history lesson like you’ve never had before.
5. Enjoy a London Eye Champagne Experience
I’m throwing this one in there as Valentine’s Day is coming up and what better way to say ‘I Love You’ than with a glass of champers on the London Eye. The panoramic views of capital’s skyline from 135 metres in the air are perfectly complemented by a glass of crisp Pommery Brut Royal Champagne and a mini box of pink champagne truffles.
During your 30-minute Champagne experience, you can spot the city’s most famous landmarks from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey whilst sipping on your luxury bubbly and sampling chocolatey goodies.
6. Discover the universe at The Royal Observatory
Lovely Lora who entered our first ever travel writer competition in summer brought to our attention the magical discoveries you can make at The Royal Observatory. Along with the planetarium, this wonderful London attraction in Greenwich offers you rare glimpse into the wonders of the universe.
Anyone that visits The Royal Observatory between now and 22nd February will be able see the winning images from the Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2014 exhibition. Featuring amazing photographs of starry night skies and deep-space objects, this is one out-of-this-world exhibition not to be missed.
7. Watch a concert at London’s O2 Arena
It’s not only the Royal Observatory selling the Greenwich area to us. The O2 Arena is another fantastic hotspot for tourists in the capital. Once called the Millennium Dome, this iconic structure is now the home of Britain’s number one venue for concerts and events.
See the likes of Olly Murs and Spandau Ballet perform live on stage at The O2 Arena, as well as attending exclusive exhibitions such as 2015’s highly anticipated Elvis at The O2. Featuring more than 300 artefacts and personal objects straight from Graceland in Memphis, Rock ‘n’ Roll fans will be in their element here!
8. Take a cruise down the River Thames
For those who like to get their money’s worth on a short break, our latest offer will be right up your street, or should I say river…
Book any 2-night London break before the end of January and we’ll throw in a free 24 Hour Red River Rover Ticket worth £18.50 per person. You can let the hours drift by quite literally as you pass some of London’s most famous sights, including The London Eye, The Shard and Westminster Abbey.
With a saloon seating, an on board café bar, plus a scheduled service between Westminster and Greenwich, you can forget the tube or double decker buses, and enjoy this great value and unique way to explore London!
9. Have a taste of afternoon tea at Fortnum and Mason
When the city sightseeing all becomes too much, be sure to swing by the quintessential London department store, Fortnum and Mason for a spot of afternoon tea. Indulge in an amazing selection of classic sandwiches, yummy cakes and delicious scones, finished off with a thirst-quenching cup of traditional tea or coffee.
SuperBreaker Catherine tickled her taste buds during the summer on a magical London break experience with her Mum, and took the opportunity to try this luxury afternoon tea experience. Let’s just say she hasn’t stopped raving about it since – so, naturally it’s on all our London to-do lists now!
10. Become a sports fan for the day
Football fanatics in the capital can take some time out from the London sights to enjoy their one true passion on an unmissable stadium tour. Whether you’re a Chelsea or Arsenal supporter, you can explore one (or both) of these incredible football clubs learning about their history, as well as taking a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium.
For a chance to see a live sporting event in London, The Wimbledon Experience is a unique package every tennis-lover should have. With tickets so see a world-class doubles tennis match plus your hotel included, all you’ll need to add is the strawberries and cream!
Which of these top 10 things to do in London would you most like to try? Perhaps you’ve got another recommendation for attractions and sights in the capital? Let us know using the comments box below. Find out some of our latest London hotels deals.