London Journals

London: Introduce Yourself to Europe

A July 2003 trip to London by karameister

Madame Tussauds Photo, London, England More Photos
Quote: London is a great starting point for Americans unfamiliar with Europe. It eases you into the culture without throwing you all the way in right away.

London: Introduce Yourself to Europe

Overview

Traffic Photo, London, England
Quote:
I was excited to step onto London soil. Besides Canada, I had never been outside the United States. It was everything I hoped for - I heard fantastic accents immediately! London is a fantastic place to start a trip, for Americans and Canadians who have never been to Europe before. You get to experience tons of new culture without an immediate language barrier! Some of the best times we had were sitting in local pubs, taking in the atmosphere and conversations. We also quite enjoyed walking around the different squares and shopping. Leicester Square and Trafalgar Square are the highlights, but you can find many smaller ones as well. Quick Tips: Ask the front de...Read More

The London Generator

Hotel | "The Generator"

The London Generator Photo, London, England
Quote:

The Generator can be big and scary. It's a huge building, and most of the rooms seem to be 8-14 people in a room. It's also fairly noisy at any hour of the day, just because there are so many people around.

The perks: You get a locker, the bathrooms are clean, and there's a free drink in the bar with your stay. The bar located in the hostel is reasonably priced and open late. The staff has a wealth of travel information, from brochures to their own recommendations.

The downfalls: It's always buzzing with activity. The rooms have a lot of guests in each of them, so it is hard to find a quiet place.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 22, 2005

The London Generator
37 Tavistock Place
London, England
020 7388 7666

Two Hyde Park Square

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Hotel | "2 Hyde Park Square"

Quote:
After getting off the plane in London and wandering through Hyde Park attempting to find our lodgings, we finally arrived at 2 Hyde Park Square. My travel companion and I were scuzzy and smelly, but were treated as royalty. 2 Hyde Park Square is beautiful and comfortable. We had a superior studio for 3 nights, which was cleaned daily. It had a small fridge, television, and small balcony. We also had large windows looking out onto the street and two comfortable beds. Even though 2 Hyde park Square is a bit pricey, they know how to accommodate a budget traveler. The front desk offers inexpensive laundry service, can get you to the Tube with ease, and can also recommend inexpe...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 17, 2005

Two Hyde Park Square
2 Hyde Park Square
London, England W2 2JY
44-(0)-20-7262-8271

Madame Tussauds

Attraction | "Madame Tussaud's Museum"

Madame Tussauds Photo, London, England
Quote:

You can't go to London without visiting Madame Tussaud's wax museum. It's cheesy, it's crowded, and it's overpriced, but that's why you're traveling, right?

Madame Tussaud's features a myriad of wax statues resembling celebrities and historical figures. You will find everyone from The Beatles to William Shakespeare to Madonna. They always have a featured statue, too, and when I was there, it was a giant Hulk - the movie had recently been released.

Expect to wait in line for a long time and pay quite a hefty entrance fee (around £20). There is no student discount.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on June 24, 2005

Madame Tussauds
Marylebone Road
London, England NW1 5LR
44 (870) 999 0046

Changing of the Guard Photo, London, England
Quote:
If there was one piece of London I feel like I could have skipped, this it it. Everyone says you have to go see the Changing or you're missing out, but I disagree. The main problem with the Changing of the Guard is the crowd. There is simply no way to properly view the ceremony unless you arrive an hour or more early. And since it takes place at 11:30am, you are spending some of the most valuable parts of your day just waiting. The ceremony itself is quite impressive. There is music and a flurry of organized movement. I was impressed with the ceremony itself, even if I was only wondering how they keep cool in their uniforms. If you've got other places to be in London, thoug...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on July 1, 2005

Changing of the Guard
Wellington Barracks
London, England SW1A 1AA
+44 (20) 7839 137

Original London Sightseeing Tour

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Attraction | "The Original Tour"

Quote:
The Original Tour gives you everything: a 24-hour pass to ride their buses, a cruise along the Thames River, and for an extra 3 pounds, a meal at your choice of several kitschy tourist destinations. That being said, they also give you a fantastic tour of London, too. Depending on where you jump on and off, the Original Tour will take you past many important sights in London. If you stay on for the entire ride, you will go past Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, Marble Arch, the Globe Theatre, St. Paul's Cathedral, and over the Tower Bridge. Those are just a few of the sights you get to see! Your trip experience probably depends heavily on your tour guide. Our first guide ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 16, 2005

Original London Sightseeing Tour
Jews Row
London, England SW18 1TB
+44 (20) 8877 1722

London Zoo

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Attraction

Quote:
Penguins and giraffes and meerkats…oh my! Zoos are fun anywhere, but the London Zoo is great because it’s surrounded by the city and easily accessible. London’s zoo does have the usual lions, tigers, and bears, plus a plethora of other exciting creatures. The London Zoo is located on the northeast side of Regent’s Park, which gave us a pleasant walk from the Tube station. I’d recommend getting of at the Baker Street station and walking through the park–-a two-for-one deal! The zoo itself is shaped like a large triangle, And if you follow the paths, it make a convenient exit. The buildings and greenery at the London Zoo are fantastic. Giant aquariums give fantastic views of ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 16, 2005

London Zoo
Regent's Park
London, England NW1 4RY
+44 20 7722 3333