Covent Garden Piazza with London Transport Museum
Posted May 13, 2011
If your European cruise is stopping in London, England, you might be overwhelmed at the sheer amount of options you have in terms of things to do. Squeezing in all the major sights in one day can be quite a challenge, so you might want to instead consider a radical idea: do none of them.
That's right - skip Big Ben, the Tower of London, and the Houses of Parliament. Don't go to the Tate Modern or take a trip on the London Eye. There's so much more to the city than simply the big tourist attractions that you might be surprised at how much you can see and do when you're not a slave to a full itinerary.
This is how the millions of locals living in London experience the city every day, so you'll need a local's point of view if you still want to have a successful and satisfying day in London. The Guardian recently asked a local about her perfect day in London and she came up with some off-the-beaten path ideas that many tourists may enjoy as well.
There are a ton of museums in London, and you've likely heard of the aforementioned Tate or the National Gallery - great locations, to be sure. One of the more consistently overlooked museums, however, is the V&A (short for Victoria and Albert). This museum may not have the famous pieces that the others do, but it always seems to have an interesting and well-curated exhibit rotating through. It's also likely to be far less crowded than the others.
In the afternoon, consider a trip out to Brixton Market. There are plenty of shopping districts in London, but if you want to go "where the locals go," this is the place to be. Grab lunch at one of the famous food stalls and browse through all the vendor's wares. The area around Brixton is up-and-coming, with plenty of cafes and boutique shops to catch your interest.