You appear to have got plenty of great ideas already,
But they seem to have missed, queuing for an hour or more in the rain outside Madame Tussaud's or the Planetarium.
The London Eye is good but can also have impossible queues so book this online in advance or you may be disappointed.
Living and working in London myself, I would just add - keep all of your valuables out of sight, beware of the pick pocketing gangs working the tube stations, get used to paying £2.50 for a 220ml bottle of cola and paying way over the odds for mediocre food and appalling service in the majority of Londons attractions.
Then there is the transport, considering it was Sunday today and it took me 2.5 Hrs to drive about 7 miles across London from Shepards Bush to Stratford at 6pm, you are advised to avoid any type of transport that has wheels, unless of course it's a Boris Bike.
These bikes are often used by visitors as a fast track way of getting NHS emergency treatment either after being run off the road by a Somali Taxidriver into an unlit 10m deep excavation for Crossrail or riding them late at night without protective clothing after a dozen tequila slammers and a bottle of cava.
The tube system is excellent (when its working) of recent the weekends are full of line and station suspensions so check the TFL website.
We do now have free wifi on many Tube stations so you can now use your Smartphone or Tablets in around 100 or so crime hotspots.
In the run up to Christmas, Oxford Street is always a good place to have your mobile snatched from your hand whilst walking along the road so tethering your phone to your hand by a cord is preferable than by Bluetooth to your iPad.
Its just as well we have about 90 Mobile Phones shops in and around the vacinity for you to get a replacement should yours be stolen and of course there is always the chance of a ringside seat and first hand view of a violent assault or even a stabbing in broad daylight at one of the adjacent sports clothing stores!
If staying in a Central London Hotel don't forget some F1 style earplugs as these will help block out the constant whine of the traffic and persistent sound of Sirens and Alarms going off.
Welcome to London, without your tourism our economy would be well and truly sunk!
...Something tells me you dont like London? lol Birmingham is just the same (in parts!) Lol Gotta love the smell of petrol fumes in the morning!
@m25man A bit harsh, but indeed do stay to the well lit streets in the West End and tfl.gov.uk is your friend at weekends for station closures.
I agree that's a bit harsh. It is advisable to book attractions up front on the internet to save queueing, I agree.
In over 25 years working in and visiting London, I have never felt unsafe in the main areas even when alone (and I'm female) Only last January I made my way back alone to Charing Cross, walking and on the underground, from wherever we edugeeks ate after BETT at about 11pm... No problem.
Of course you need to be cautious about pickpockets and flashing your wallet or smart phone, but it's no worse than anywhere else in the UK. Put your wallet and phone in an inside pocket and carry your handbag in front of you.
Harsh! I never even got started, I've lived here all my life and watched it rot like a Fiat stuck in the sand on a windy beach!
Originally Posted by hit
I can think of a hundred cities in this world I'd rather live in, even Bogota seems attractive nowadays.
I'll rememeber that one ;) lol I have never liked London, just because its crowded (understandably as it in the Capital) but just using common sense, that always seems to work! ;)
Originally Posted by elsiegee40
If you want a drink with a view, head here - Bar | PARAMOUNT
It's on the 32nd floor of Centrepoint and the views were absolutely incredible, went last night. You do have to book in advance even for drinks (but it's free) and cocktails cost about £11 each but are really, really good
A friend and I went to the o2 a couple of weeks ago so decided to head down to the Olympic Park before the show we were seeing. Waste of time it was all fenced off still so I guess it will be a while before all of that's opened up. We also took the Ski Lift across the Thames, that was a 30 minute queue for a trip over some building sites. The return journey however was during the sun setting at it was spectacular.
I was going to mention the cable car ride - it is great!
Whilst the speedboat ride etc is fun, you cant beat taking a boat up the Thames. Make sure you get one with a commentary and you will learn so much about the buildings around. Greenwich itself is lovely - obviously there is the observatory, the museum and the Cutty Sark but the actual town is very cute with interesting little shops and markets.
Just an aside - I've never felt any more unsafe in London than anywhere else.
Thanks @witch - and to everyone, we are due to go a week Friday so i'll report back on what we did and saw etc. The cable car ride sounds great, specially at sunset...lil softy that I am! ;) Staying with some friends in London so accomadation is free and the train from Brum to London is £6 there and £9 back...Cant compalin at that!
If you are there on a sunday, get off the beaten track and tourist traps - get down to spitalfields, bricklane and the markets down that way. Such a better experience of London in my opinion. Try some street food - the rib man comes highly recommended!
Borough Market is good if you are foodies :)
I went down with my OH at Easter, Was her first time in London (She's American) so we tried do as much as possible in the 4 days we were there.
We bought a London pass (The London Pass - London Sightseeing and Tourism for Less - London guide) which is a pre paid card that gives you free entrance to hundreds of attractions with queue skipping, its a bit pricey but you make you money back if you do 3 or 4 things a day. I really enjoyed the tower of London and that's easily a half day right there if you go see the crown jewel's and look around the royal Armoury inside the white tower, would recommend taking the guided tour if you do, the yeomen are ex military and have a wicked sense of humour (Tower of London 1 of 5 - YouTube)
We saved a bit of money by not buying the london pass for two of the days where we did a few tours, some of them are free (FREE TOUR - London Tours - SANDEMANs NEW EUROPE) where someone walks you around all the landmarks and explains the history behind them, worth noting though they do ask for a donation after. Our tour finished at a pub where you got a discount on food. That evening we went on a grim reaper tour by the same company, that cost us around £10, and is a night tour around the more historically gruesome parts of london. The other day we went around the natural history museum which is HUGE and will take up most of the day.
An oyster card for the tube is a must too, think we used around £30 each traveling from our hotel and around london, our hotel was next to the excel center.
Off the top of my head the things we did were..
National history museum, free entry and took us most of the remaining day after traveling down
Tower of London*, climbing up the monument*, London bridge experience*
Thames boat tour*, Churchill war rooms*, Kensington palace* Westminster Abbey*
The two tours, a bit of shopping.
*cost covered by pass
The london pass gives discounts on some things like going to see a show and eating out, we didn't use that much.
I'm surprised it took 24 posts for someone to mention the Cutty Sark. You have to see that if you're going to Greenwich!
Greenwich is one of the nicer towns in that area, you could quite easily spend the entire weekend there without venturing out.
A Rib ride in November/December is going to be cold, I know!
I would add St Catherines Dock for food, great restaurant with different food on each floor.
One of the best things I did in the Summer was the London Olympic mascot tour. They laid out 6 tours visiting different sides of London, its a shame they haven't left them out as it was a great experience.