Arts and Culture

48 hours in London

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London is as quintessentially English as a cup of tea, the union jack and corgis combined. Sample a taste of everything it has to offer in just 48 hours and you'll feel like you've spent a week in the city from all the activities you've enjoyed – and come away with a taste for Yorkshire Puddings besides. 

A morning at the markets

Feel the rush of finding hidden treasures and gifts for loved ones back home at any of the many delectable markets of London. Covent Garden is known for its range of arts and crafts, while historic Portobello Road has been operating as a market since the 1800s and offers everything from clothes to antiques to food.

Main market days are Fridays and Saturdays, although you'll also find a smaller market running Mondays through Thursdays.

A royal visit

Make your way to Buckingham Palace by 11am to watch the changing of the guard. This happens daily from May to July and every second day thereafter,  so be sure to check which day it will be on the official site. The change doesn't begin until 11.30am, but there will usually be a crowd so nab a good position by arriving early. 

Once the crowds have cleared, take a closer look at the Palace, which has been the official London home for Britain's sovereigns since 1837, and houses 775 rooms (78 of which are bathrooms). Depending on the time of year you visit, you may be able to get a look behind the grand gates and into the residence itself on a State Room tour.

A snack and a shop

Nobody does high tea quite like the English, so refuel with this luxurious treat at one of the many establishments in the city such as iconic Claridge's (book in advance for this one) or the somewhat more affordable Soho's Secret Tea Room. 

Harrod's of central London has made a name for itself as the store that has virtually anything – for a price. Browse the luxury items on offer and see if you can find a gorgeous souvenir to take home.

An eye on the city

Head to the London Eye over the River Thames as the sun goes down for one of the best views of the city and a ride on this gigantic ferric wheel. A ride takes about 30 minutes in total, so you'll have plenty of time to snap some stunning shots of the cityscape. Be sure to book online to save on the ticket price! 

A showstopping evening

London's cultural scene is worth 48 days in the city alone, but if you only have 48 hours, you'll have to choose carefully. At any one time you could see a ballet, an opera, a musical theatre or a dazzling mix of the three. 

The West End is where the magic happens, with long-running shows The Lion King, Mama Mia, Wicked and The Phantom of the Opera just a few of the blockbuster names you might find there. 

A walk in the park

A breath of fresh air in a big city, Hyde Park in central London stretches across 350 acres, and if you catch it on a fine day, is simply the best way to kick off a visit to the city. Unwind by the Serpentine Lake and pick up breakfast at the kitchen there, or pack a picnic and enjoy it next to the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fountain. For anyone from a country without squirrels, these cute creatures are a novelty and will delight both the little ones and the bigger ones with their antics.

If you're there during winter, you'll be able to check out the annual Winter Wonderland, a free-admission event with rides, markets, ice sculptures, a circus and stalls to keep you warm through six week lead up to Christmas.

An English classic

Make like a local and head to a pub for a classic Sunday roast for lunch (no matter what day it is). Just about any pub will do, as they are virtually everywhere in the city and almost every one of them will have a chi?cken/beef plus Yorkshire Pudding, peas, potatoes and gravy dish on the menu. 

A dose of art

Finish your stay with a wander through the impressive and expansive Tate Modern, an art gallery that began in 1992 and is one of four museums home to Britain's national art collection. The Tate Modern holds international modern and contemporary artworks and has seen more than 40 million visitors through its doors since 2000, landing it a spot in the UK's top three tourist attractions, according to the Tate website. 

London isn't shy when it comes to showing off its many attractions and activities. Enjoy as much as you can of this magnificent city in just 48 hours and get a taste of all of them! 

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