For most travelers, 12 hours is undoubtedly too short of a time for an adventure in London. However, it is a long time to sit in a hotel room or coffee shop while you wait for the next leg of your journey. London has plenty of diverse attractions, and with proper planning, you can explore some of the famous sites in half a day. As you get a taste of London in a short timeframe, only carry the items you need, and let Stasher take care of the rest of your belongings.
Choose the best mode of transport
You don’t want to spend most of your time stuck in traffic or long tube rides. You have plenty to see and do, and you don’t want to be late for your flight. If you are in Heathrow, instead of taking the hour-long tube ride to central London, use the Heathrow Express for a 15-minute ride to Paddington Station.
The tube is significantly cheaper but takes a longer time than the Heathrow Express. If you have a tight budget and feel your only option is the tube, you must plan your route to factor in travel time in your schedule. You may also opt for a taxi if it is more convenient.
Take a guided tour of famous landmarks
A guided tour will save you time since the guide knows how to get to some of the famous landmarks quickly. You’ll also get to learn the history of some of these sites as you explore them, which will make this brief stint worthwhile.
Some of the sights in Central London are close to one another. For example, you can easily explore Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Westminster Bridge, Westminster Abbey and Buckingham Palace on foot. A guide will help you customize an itinerary to include the places you’d like to visit and the best way to maximize the time you have.
Visit Art Galleries
If you love contemporary art, you should visit the iconic art galleries that hold some of the most sought after paintings in the world.
Besides the art collection, the buildings housing some of these galleries have a fascinating history and centuries-old architecture. For example, the National Gallery is located in a 200-year-old building, while the National Portrait Gallery has been open since 1856.
Additionally, visiting most of these galleries will cost you nothing, so if you don’t have money to spare, you can still see the beautiful art pieces on display.
Buckingham Palace, The Mall, and St. James’ Park
Buckingham Palace is one of the intriguing historical attractions you shouldn’t miss during your London exploration. The Mall is a famous road that hosts royal public displays, and it will also lead you to the palace from Trafalgar Square.
This road is also where the annual London Marathon ends. On your way to Buckingham Palace, you’ll pass under the famous Admiralty Arch.
If you are exhausted, take a break in the 23-hectare St. James’ Park. The Lake in the middle of this park attracts hundreds of birds, including a colony of pelicans.
There is so much you can do in London with only 12 hours to spare. With adequate planning, you can have an incredible time, even if it feels like the time is too short to enjoy yourself.