I've been dreaming of London for as long as I could remember. I grew up in a house that loved Princess Diana and when William & Kate got engaged in 2010, I was hooked. From that moment on my love of England and all things British was solidified in the stars. 

I had never been to Europe but I always knew I wanted my first trip overseas to be to London; there was something pulling me there and I needed to see it. I wasn't sure when my first trip would be but as I got older and started to become more financially stable, I knew it was coming soon. 

Last summer, my sister and her boyfriend started to plan their annual European trip and my sister wanted to go to London, but she didn't want to go without me. I joined them in their planning, they invited her boyfriend's sister as well, and soon enough all of our flights and hotels were booked. 

As every month, week, and day got closer to the trip it didn't even feel real. I had my usual travel anxiety (another post for another day), but it didn't feel like it was happening. It still doesn't feel like it happened. 

We took a red eye from New York to London... left on Friday night and got there Saturday morning and it was as if I had been there a hundred times before. It felt so incredibly natural to be standing in front of Buckingham Palace, to hear British accents, to know the areas of London we were going too. 

It was like I had been there before; it was like an out of body experience that I really can't explain. 

The city is so full of history, so full of life... it was like being in Manhattan just cleaner, prettier and with better traffic. I loved it so much and I want to go back immediately. It's the one place besides New York I could see myself living. 

All of that being said, I wanted to do a little travel guide and point out the things we did, how we did them and any tips I learned along the way. We were only there for five days, four nights, so it was short and there were things we didn't do but we packed a lot into those days. 

Where We Stayed


When choosing a hotel, we wanted to be sure it was beautiful, high quality and in a central location to everything we wanted to do. We made the decision to stay at The Clermont London on Buckingham Road and it was so beautiful. The service was impeccable, rooms were stunning, there were great restaurants and bars within the hotel, and it was truly so wonderful. 

How We Structured Our Days 

When we arrived in London on Saturday morning, we took a little nap in the hotel room, got ourselves together and tried to get our bearings...all before embarking on a double decker bus tour. My sister loves to pack trip days full of tours, restaurants, and walking while I usually need a few hours in between everything to decompress. 

We compromised and found a really good balance; we focused on one or two big things a day to give us time to get everywhere, to enjoy, and not be too tired at the end of it. Dinner was the main focus on the night, so we would try to get back to the hotel with about 2-3 hours to relax and get ready to leave before our reservation.

I'll leave our itinerary at the bottom of the post if you want to see exactly what we did in the order we did it. 

What Tours We Did

I was the history buff in our group and I made all the reservations for our tours. I knew we had limited time so I did the things I thought would interest everyone, and the things that I had been wanting to do forever. We only did three official tours: The Tower of London, Kensington Palace, and Westminster Abbey. 

We had tickets for a double decker bus that took you all around the city and would leave us near The Tower of London but it turned out that the bus took a lot longer than I thought it would and we almost missed our reservation. I think if you're not going anywhere, the double decker bus tour is a great way to see the city, get your bearings and of course, have the experience of the big red bus that is so iconic in London.

I think Kensington Palace was my favorite tour, and place we visited; it has such rich history but also feels so modern because of Princess Diana, and William & Kate. The tour had three different tracks; Queen Victoria's childhood, The King's State Apartments all about the Georgian Period, and the Queen's State Apartments, all about Queen Mary II. 

The Tower of London was incredible; there were so many grounds, so many different things to see but the main event was the Crown Jewels, where of course, the most exquisite jewels live. In addition to the jewls there was also cutlery, uniforms, swords, and so many other pieces of monarch history. You cannot take pictures in the Crown Jewels section, which adds to the ambiance. 

Westminster Abbey was incredibly crowded, probably the most crowded out of anything we did and with good reason. The church is smaller than it appears but it's truly a sight to see. This was the one place where I got emotional because I have seen countless weddings and funerals take place, all on TV but now I was standing in the same place. It was intense and beautiful. 

All of the tours were perfect, exactly what was expected and a lot of fun! If you're going to book any royal tours, I recommend doing it directly through the websites of each place. 

What We Did

Aside from tours, we wanted to see the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace which happens a few times a week. It was way more crowded than I ever expected, it felt like you were in the middle of a Royal Wedding crowd. I don't necessarily know if it was worth it because we really couldn't see, and you weren't able to absorb the full Buckingham Palace experience. Because of that, my sister & I went back on the last day and it was unbelievable. It is so beautiful, so majestic, and you feel the gravity holding you to the center as you stare at the gates. 

We of course also saw Big Ben and Parliament, which was also very crowded but it was right across the street from Westminster Abbey so it worked out well. When we were done with our Keningston Palace tour, we walked around the grounds and saw the Princess Diana Memorial Garden & statue which was on my list. The gardens are huge and extend all the way to Hyde Park, so we didn't get to see the Peter Pan statue, Diana's Memorial Playground or the fountain, which means I'll just have to go back! 

Those were all the landmarks that we saw, but we also went to Borough Market, spent hours in Harrods, had afternoon tea at Fortum and Mason, shopped at Selfridges, and walked around Notting Hill. We really wanted to make sure we hit all the major spots and then leave time for roaming around, which we did a good amount of.

Where We Ate 

Dinner was our only constant all night which was fine. My sister made all the reservations, and they all fell within 7-7:30 PM. We were back at the hotel, the latest, 10:30 PM every night which gave us plenty of time to get a good night's sleep.



My sister chose a mix of restaurants: Mediterranean, Italian and Latin. We were a group of picky eaters, and also a bit uptight/fancy, so we didn't really experience much 'English' food. The restaurants we went too were: Jacuzzi, Sucre, Harrys Bar and Bacchanalia. Honestly, the food was incredible at every single place but I think I loved Bacchanalia the most. It had the most interesting vibe, was very classy and sophisticated, but had incredible food and service. 




Prada Cafe

Lunch was more casual for us; we stopped at a pub one afternoon, ate at the Prada Cafe in Harrods, and then had Afternoon Tea at Fortum and Mason which I loved. The Prada Cafe was definitely for the Instagram photos but it was cute, the coffee was delicious, and the food was standard. If you want a cute picture, I recommend it! 

How We Got Around 

Before I embarked on my trip, people who had been there recently told me that the traffic was worst than Manhattan and to not take Ubers or cabs. I went with the intention of taking a few cabs but relying heavily on The Tube. 

That simply did not happen because everyone lied to me! The traffic was so much better than Manhattan, the cabs were cheap and Ubers were plenty. Is it weird if I said the cabs were my favorite part? They were square cars and so cute, with so much space inside! 

What I found interesting, aside from driving on the opposite side of the road, was that the flow of traffic in London was seamless. There are so many twists, turns, and roundabouts that allow the cars to constantly be moving. Manhattan is a grid so there's few options on how to get around, but here, there were so many ways to get where you needed to. It was very efficient and fun! 

We did take the Tube once, from our hotel to Notting Hill. It was only a few stops, very clean and easy to figure out. My sister and I are subway girls so for us, it felt very natural and easy to navigate. 

All in all, this was an incredible trip. It was everything I wanted it to be, everything I thought it would be. London felt like home, like I had been there before. It was natural, it was beautiful and full of history yet so modern. I am more obsessed than ever and I can't wait to go back! 


  • Arrive at hotel around 7:30 AM
  • Bus Tour at 12 PM 
  • Tower of London & Crown Jewels at 1:30 PM
  • The Tower Bridge 
  • Borough Market
  • Dinner at Bacchanalia at 7 PM
  • Back to Hotel by 9:30 PM 

  • Kensington Palace Tour at 11:30 AM
  • Roam around grounds & garden
  • Harrods
  • Lunch at Prada Cafe in Harrods at 2:30 PM 
  • Dinner at Jacuzzi at 7:45 PM 
  • Back to Hotel by 10:30 PM


  • Changing of the Guard at 10:45 AM
  • Fortum & Mason Afternoon Tea at 12 PM
  • Big Ben & Parliament 
  • Westminster Abbey Tour at 2:30 PM
  • Dinner at Harry's Bar at 7:30 PM 
  • Back to Hotel by 10 PM 

  • Notting Hill
  • Selfridges Shopping
  • Dinner at Sucre at 7 PM
  • Back to the Hotel by 9:30 PM

If you have any questions about the trip, let me know!

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