First Timer's Guide To London, United Kingdom

7 May 2018

Noelle Ong

Klook Travel Curator

The first timer guide to London

The capital of England and the United Kingdom is one of the world’s most-visited cities! A combination of rich history, culture and sexy British accents everywhere, this city packs a charm in every nook and corner.

If this is your first time in this English city, read on to find out some of the must visit places and best grub spots!

Klook activities to check out

Harry Potter Warner Bros Studio Tour

  • Unique 4 hour tour experience of the original set of the Harry Potter films
  • Explore intricately made artefacts, props and costimes
  • Visit Ollivanders wand shop, the Gryffindor common room and even the Weasley's kitchen from The Burrow.

Tour inclusive of:

  • 2 way transfer on comfortable air conditioned coaches equipped with free WiFi and reclining seats
  • Entrance ticket for 4 hours Warner Bros. Studio Tour
View this activity

1. London Eye

Probably the most iconic landmark in London, the London Eye is the world’s HIGHEST observation tower! Catch sights of the Big Ben, Parliament and Buckingham palace all from 135 meters up. Each rotation lasts for 30 minutes, giving you ample time to marvel at the beautiful London skyline.

Klook your fast track tickets and skip the long lines! Just redeem your ticket at the fast track ticket desk in front of the London Eye and you’re all set.

Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road, London SE1 7PB, UK

Nearest station: Waterloo, Embankment, Charing Cross and Westminster

View this activity

2. Westminster Abbey

For the uninitiated, the British follow a monarchy system and ever since 1066, every monarch has been crowned at Westminster Abbey. This hugely significant landmark definitely makes it a must-visit when in London. Learn about people who made a difference in London such as Charles Dickens and Sir Isaac Newton across 1000 years of British history. You’ll even get to see the tombs of past kings and queens.

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes because the climb of 582 steps to the golden dome is a must-do! Klook your Westminster Abbey tickets for a complimentary audio guide that will give you insights into the significance of different parts of the church.

Address: 20 Dean's Yard, Great North Door, London, SW1P 3PA

Nearest station: Westminster

View this activity

3. Harry Potter Film Locations Tour

You can’t call yourself a Potterhead if you don’t visit the Harry Potter film locations when in London. Let your guide take you to the actual filming spots of Diagon Alley, the Leaky Cauldron, Ministry of Magic and of course, Platform 9¾. You’ll even get to relive the moment where the Death Eaters destroyed the infamous Millenium Bridge.

P.S. Please don’t run into the walls at Platform 9¾, we’re pretty sure the gates are sealed.

Klook your Harry Potter walking tour and meet up with your guide at the Westminster underground station exit 1!

View this activity

A true Harry Potter fan would not miss a chance to check out the movie making magic in real life at the Warner Bros Studios! See the original sets and props, walk through the doors of Wizarding school, the Gryffindor common room and even the Weasley’s kitchen.

The Warner Bros studios may be slightly difficult to navigate to yourself especially since it’s outside of London. Klook your Harry Potter tour and it comes with a 2 way transfer so you don’t have to worry about wasting time getting lost.

View this activity

4. Tower Bridge

Not to be confused with the London Bridge from our childhood nursery rhymes, the Tower Bridge is a must-visit for first-timers to London. Rest assured, this London bridge will not be falling down.

Standing tall as the one of the gateways to London (literally), walk the 43-metre tall glass walkway and enjoy panoramic views of the city from up top. There are also interactive exhibits where you’ll get to see the original Victorian steam engines that were used to raise the bridge.

Klook your tickets to the Tower Bridge, redeem your tickets at the entrance with your mobile e-voucher and you’re all set for some great views!

View this activity

5. The Shard

Formerly known as the London Bridge tower, the Shard stands tall at 95 storeys, a soaring 310 metres high! Head up to London’s highest viewing platform to see London’s skyline like you’ve never seen it before. This is truly arguably the best place to view the city! There is even an interactive telescope audio guide for you to learn about London’s history

Klook your ticket and opt for the champagne package that comes with a glass for you to toast to the beautiful London skyline! Otherwise, grab a bite at Duck and Waffle, the highest 24/7 dining place in London!

Address: Railway Approach, London SE1 9SG, UK

Nearest station: London Bridge

View this activity

6. London Dungeon

Warning : This is not an experience for the faint hearted.

One of the most exciting attractions in London has got to be the London Dungeons. If you like thrills and enjoy a good scare while learning about the history of a city, this is the best place to do it. Walk through 1000 years of London’s dark and dangerous past with appearances from Jack the Ripper, Sweeney Todd and more. Descend deep into the dungeons but you might just find yourself in a torture chamber so tread carefully.

Klook your ticket for a guaranteed time slot! We’d recommend going to redeem your ticket at the box office before starting your day and coming back just in time for your slot.

Address: Riverside Building, County Hall, Westminster Bridge Rd, Lambeth, London SE1 7PB, UK

Nearest Station: Waterloo, Embankment, Charing Cross and Westminster

Photo credit : Facebook

View this activity

7. Buckingham Palace

One of the quintessentially London things to do is to visit the Buckingham Palace. Stare at the windows where the royal baby was announced and dream of your own prince charming. There’s nothing more English than having tea at the palace!

Treat yourself to a luxurious 3-tiered tea featuring the famous English baked scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream and of course the finest selection of tea. Step into the nineteen opulent State Rooms decorated with pieces from the Royal collection such as Rembrandt paintings.

Klook your afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace and it includes a voucher for your afternoon tea as well as the admission ticket for Buckingham Palace. Don’t forget to make your way to the Evan Evans Office 45 minutes before your scheduled time and collect your vouchers.

Nearest Underground Station to Evan Evans office: Victoria

View this activity

Other things to check out in London

8. Camden Market

If you’re the type of person that hates it when someone wears the same outfit as you, head to the Camden market where most stall holders sell one of a kind jewellery and clothes! You’ll find vintage gems, punk goth pieces and even t-shirts with hilarious sayings to spice up your wardrobe.

After all that shopping, fill your hungry bellies with the many food stalls whose scent alone will leave you drooling. Whether you’re looking for some good ol fashioned fish and chips or even some Korean fried chicken, you’ll find it here.

Address: 32 Camden Lock Pl, London NW1 8AL, United Kingdom

Nearest station: Camden Town

Photo credit :

9. Shopping at Oxford Street

If you’re more about those London fashion brands like Topshop and Miss Selfridge, then Oxford street is for you! Get ready to shop till you drop at the famous Oxford street - Europe’s busiest shopping street. From cheap fashion stores like Primark to high end departmental stores like Harrods, this street is every shopaholic’s dream come true.

Address: Oxford Street, London W1D 2EH

Nearest station: Oxford Circus

10. Big Ben

Located beside the Parliament and probably one of the more iconic landmarks in London is the Big Ben. When you see the clock faces illuminate, it means parliament is in session. The Big Ben is actually the bell inside the clock tower and it weighs a significant 13,760 Kilos! We’d suggest coming at night when all 4 faces of the clock are illuminated!

Address: Westminster, London SW1A 0AA, UK

Nearest station: Westminster

London Must Eats

Burger and Lobster

One of the most popular restaurant chains Burger and Lobster has only 3 items on their menu, and that’s how you know it’s good. Serving you fresh succulent lobsters either baked or in a lobster roll and corn fed beef burgers, these classics are not to be missed. Find the nearest restaurant near you and get feasting. We suggest going during off peak dining hours since the queues can get pretty long.

Flat Iron Steak

This trendy no reservation one dish on the menu restaurant Flat Iron Steak is definitely worth the long queues you might see outside the store. The only item on the menu - Flat Iron Steak is cooked to perfection and is extremely worth the money at GBP10 a steak. We suggest pairing yours with some creamed spinach and dripping cooked fries. They have 5 different store locations so pick one nearest to you!

English Breakfast

Forget the millennial diet of Avocado toast, when in London, you have to indulge in a full plate of English breakfast! Served with a heap of grease, bacon, sausages, eggs baked beans and the English special - black pudding. For the uninitiated, black pudding is a type of blood sausage whose ingredients commonly include pig's blood, suet, bread, barley and oatmeal. For a budget friendly option, check out E Pellicci’s full English breakfast that will only set you back GBP 5.50.

Address: 332 Bethnal Green Rd, London E2 0AG, UK

Nearest station: Bethnal Green