I have been to London before, and generally like to make it my last stop on my trips to Europe. The first time I came I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did, but it was another case of expectations differing from reality. This was to be just one day in London, so I wanted to maximize my time.
Transportation: I flew into London Gatwick airport, which is quite a distance from London (one hour’s drive), but the Gatwick Express train gets you to London Victoria Station in a half hour. You can purchase tickets online, $25 one-way, or you can also take Southern, which is cheaper but takes a little longer. The train station in Gatwick is conveniently located in the South Terminal, with a quick shuttle ride from North Terminal if that’s where you fly into. While I love the Gatwick Express option, for the record, I hate Victoria Station. It is crowded, drafty, and has been undergoing construction for years, although it is supposed to be completed this year. London is known to have a good public transportation system, but since this was a quick trip, I used Uber getting around the city. The Oyster card is a good pre-paid smart card option that you can use on various forms of public transportation.London Victoria Station
Do: I can’t possibly sum up all the things there are to do in London in one day or one blog post. When I arrived in the morning, I went by Buckingham Palace (a less-than 15 minute walk from Victoria Station) to get some souvenirs for my mom who likes Royal Wedding gossip and English teas. I also went to Harrods famous department store. I’ve wanted to see a show in London’s West End (like New York’s Broadway), and was lucky enough to see Wicked on this trip, which I highly recommend!Buckingham PalaceYou have to take a London cab for the experience.HarrodsThat construction around Victoria Station I was talking about!I snuck a picture during intermission.
Eat: While I don’t typically like British food, London is an international city with high-end restaurants and a great food culture. When I come to London, I love to get Indian food. London is known for its Indian cuisine, and I think it’s a lot better than what you find in NYC!The choices for Indian restaurants are never-ending in London. This time, we ate at Thali in Kensington. They specialize in various northern Indian dishes served on a platter, this is the vegetarian thali. The meal also came with chapati and papadum (Indian-style breads) and chutneys.
I think I definitely maximized my time for one day in London! I’m sad that this is the end of this trip, but I have some exciting ones coming up. As I said before, I’m a big fan of Norwegian. My flight from London back to New York the next morning was only $227, and included a meal and 1 carry-on or checked bag with this fare. If you are not going to Europe, you really should, with flights from NY to California costing more than that! The seats were spacious (I got lucky again with the aisle seat and an empty seat next to me), they have TV’s, and a USB port to charge your phone. The planes are new, service is good, and for that price, I really can’t complain. I highly recommend them flying to Europe!New planesA small breakfast of yogurt, a muffin, and juice was served.Lunch was beef, potatoes, vegetables, a small side of pasta, and desert. It’s airplane food, what did you expect?
That’s all until my next trip!