First-Timer’s Guide to Visiting London

A view of the London skyline featuring Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament


New to London and unsure of what to do first in this city full of activity? Well look no further, welcome to our guide of all the things you must do on your first visit to London. 


London Eye

There’s no better place to start exploring London than from the top! Get the best views of the city from the London Eye, the iconic landmark is located in the centre of London. On clear days you can see up to 40km away! Enjoy the ride as you spot landmarks around the city. 

Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament 

Next on the list has got to be one of the most famous landmarks of London, the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben! Standing tall at nearly 100 metres high, you can see the clock tower from miles away, however up close it really is a sight to behold. Circle back to it in the evening to see the clock faces and the buildings light up in the night sky. 

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge, fondly known as the fairytale bridge, is another one of London’s landmarks that is a must see on your first trip to the city. See the famous bridge built and opened in the late 1800s, walk along it or get there for one of the Bridge Lift times to see the bridge open up for larger vessels to pass through. Even go inside to explore within the bridge towers.

Buckingham palace

Of course this had to be on our list, the working royal palace in the heart of the city is one of the must see places on your first trip to London. The King’s official London residence is open for 10 weeks of the summer, so take a step further and book tickets for a tour around this stunning royal palace. 

Hyde park

350 acres of beautiful greenery and scenery with sports facilities, cafes, bars and restaurants and a large lake. This park is used for large scale events such as Winter Wonderland and many concerts! As you explore the royal park, look out for Princess Diana’s memorial fountain!

Science Museum and Natural History Museum 

Expand your mind with the incredible and immersive experiences you can only get at the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum! These museums are one of the best London tourist hotspots and perfect for any first-timers in London, looking for a great day out. Aimed at all ages, these museums are perfect for the whole family.

The British Museum 

Located just around the corner from the St Giles London, the iconic British Museum is one of London’s favourite museums. Filled with galleries and exhibitions to explore, book your tickets and spend the day wandering around the incredible art and exhibitions. Grab a bite to eat at one of their cafes and restaurants or find some unique gifts for your family and friends in the shop.

Camden Market 

Having grown from a small market of 16 stalls in 1974, to the size of the market now, Camden market is an incredible treat for the senses. The famous market is situated right in the heart of London, and is filled with shops, stalls, food, drink, and events. There is something for everyone so whether you’re exploring London with your family or your friends, this is a must on your list. 

Theatre Show at the West End 

It’s not the perfect trip to London without experiencing a theatre show at the West End. With so many shows to choose from between the Lion King and Frozen to Mamma Mia and Hamilton, there is something for everyone. Don’t miss your chance to see the best and most popular musicals including Broadway hits! 


Why not take the London bus for a very affordable tour of the city to see some of these amazing landmarks. Taking the London bus is a great and affordable alternative to a tour bus to see the city. After your full day of exploring London, come back to the St Giles London hotel to enjoy a restful night. Even make the most of the Summer Special offer and save up to 15% off your stay.