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How to spend a week in Europe: Part 1 – London

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You may have wondered if it’s possible to make a European trip out of a one week of vacation. For the purposes of this blog, I’m going to define one week as 6-8 days (flight excluded). Why one week you ask? Well, I guess my audience is meant to be: 1) young parents, 2) working adults with little PTO time, 3) working adults who go to school, and 4) budget travelers. Also, I am going to ignore the time of year as you can pretty much go anywhere in Europe any time of the year (preferences for warm/cold/dry/wet are excluded).

So, you got one week. You can do a number of trips, but I will only suggest four. Please keep in mind that if you’re an avid traveler, you can throw a dart at the European map and spend a whole week in any city. Therefore, I will assume that your goal as a traveler is to see as much “touristy” stuff as possible.

Trip #1: London and greater area

Travel to London

As an English-speaking person, your first thought should be to go somewhere where the language barrier won’t be an issue. Also, if you live on the West Coast, London is pretty much the closest place in Europe you can fly to. If you live on the East Coast, you have more flight options, but the majority of the flights still fly through Heathrow (London’s main airport).

If you’re like me, a person who likes to get up at 7 am on vacations and walk around with a map until late hours of the night, then you don’t need more than 4-5 days to see all the important stuff in London. The important to-do list is: visit Big Ben, ride the London Eye, go to the British Museum and National Gallery (and check out Trafalgar square where the Gallery is located), visit the Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard ceremony, enjoy the history and architecture of Westminster Abbey, go to St. Paul’s Cathedral and climb all the way up top to the dome, take a walk along the river Thames and overlook the Parliament, tour the Tower of London, where you can see the very precious Crown Jewels, enjoy the London Dungeon, walk across the Tower (London) Bridge, stroll through St. James and Hyde parks, and enjoy the shopping at Harrods. Wow, that was a mouthful.  And if you like history and opera, visit the Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, as well as Covent Garden Opera House.

Trafalgar Square: Ryuto Hirotaka

In the few extra days that you might have left, check out Windsor Castle, along with Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, walk by Eton College (a prestigious school where Prince William and Harry attended), take a bus tour to the famous ruins at Stonehenge, check-out Oxford campus (especially if you love Harry Potter), and if you love Billy Shakespeare, visit the cute little town of Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of the great poet.

That just about sums up the list of must see things on your next trip to London!

About the Author: Many thanks to one of our favorite anonymous travel club members for writing this helpful post!

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5 Replies to “How to spend a week in Europe: Part 1 – London”

January 22, 2012
This is great! Just wondering where the other trips are!?
    January 30, 2012
    We go all over the world! Check out our upcoming ones here:
June 26, 2012
Looks like a good itinerary. London can easily be seen in a few days, it's a fairly compact city in terms of the highlights, and very walkable too :D
    June 26, 2012
    Yeah its a great city but I personally do like to get in and get out...
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