Discovering London: An Insider’s Guide to the City’s Most Iconic Attractions

Posted May 13, 2024

🕑 7 minutes 44 sec read

Welcome to the vibrant city of London, where history meets modernity, and adventure awaits around every corner. Whether you’re a backpacker on a budget or a savvy traveller looking for the best hostel London has to offer, this guide has you covered. We’ll be exploring some of the most iconic landmarks in London and giving you insider tips on the best affordable hostels to crash after a long day of sightseeing. Let’s dive in! 🎯


Sky Garden: The Best View in London 🌇

Location: 1 Sky Garden Walk, London EC3M 8AF

Opening Hours: Visit Sky Garden for the most up-to-date opening hours and more information.


Imagine sipping coffee at the Sky Pod Bar while gazing over London’s jaw-dropping skyline. Welcome to Sky Garden, London’s highest public garden that offers unbeatable views of the city’s landmarks like The Shard and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Oh, and did I mention it’s free? Just book a ticket in advance, and you’re set for one of the most Instagrammable experiences ever. 📸

Pro Tip: Visit around sunset for a golden-hour spectacle! 🌅


Covent Garden: A Hub of Entertainment 🎭

Location: Covent Garden, London WC2E 9DD

Opening Hours: Check out Covent Garden for opening times and the latest info.

Street performers, quaint cafes, and high-end boutiques – Covent Garden is a melting pot of culture and style. Make sure to catch a performance at the Royal Opera House or just enjoy the vibrant atmosphere as you wander around the marketplace. 🎨

Pro Tip: Covent Garden is home to some awesome buskers. Bring a few pounds to tip the talent! 🎤


The London Eye: Take a Spin 🎡

Location: Riverside Building, County Hall, London SE1 7PB

Opening Hours: Find the latest info at London Eye.

Ready for a bird’s-eye view of London? The London Eye is your ticket to the most spectacular sights in the city. Each rotation takes about 30 minutes, giving you plenty of time to spot Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, and more. 🏰

Pro Tip: Book your tickets online to skip the queue and snag some sweet discounts. 🎟️



Tower of London: A Historic Fortress 🏰

Location: St Katharine’s & Wapping, London EC3N 4AB

Opening Hours: Visit Tower of London for opening times.

Take a step back in time at the Tower of London, home to the dazzling Crown Jewels and centuries of captivating history. From its medieval architecture to the eerie tales of prisoners once held here, it’s an unmissable experience for any history buff. 🏯

Pro Tip: Join one of the Yeoman Warder tours to get the juiciest stories and fun facts about the tower’s past. 🗝️


National Gallery: Art for Everyone 🖼️

Location: Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

Opening Hours: Check out National Gallery for current hours.

Feast your eyes on masterpieces by Van Gogh, Monet, and da Vinci at the National Gallery. This world-class museum offers free entry, making it the perfect cultural pit stop for travelers on a budget. 🎨

Pro Tip: Try the free guided tours to make the most of your visit. 🗣️

Natural History Museum: Dinosaurs Galore 🦖

Location: Cromwell Rd, South Kensington, London SW7 5BD

Opening Hours: Visit Natural History Museum for more info.

Channel your inner dino enthusiast at the Natural History Museum. From colossal dinosaur skeletons to sparkling gems and minerals, there’s so much to explore. 💎

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the animatronic T-Rex! 🦖


Where to Stay:

Astor Kensington Hostel

Conveniently located near the Natural History Museum, offers an affordable lodging option that’s ideal for cultural enthusiasts. This hostel provides a prime location for exploring the city’s historical treasures.

Changing of the Guard: Royal Tradition at Its Finest 👑

Location: Buckingham Palace, London SW1A 1AA

Timing: Check the official site for the current schedule.

Get a glimpse of British pomp and pageantry at the Changing of the Guard ceremony. It’s totally free and quintessentially London, so make sure to arrive early for a good spot. 🎺

Pro Tip: Stand near the Victoria Memorial for the best view. 📍

British Museum: An Epic Collection 

Location: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG

Opening Hours: Find more info at British Museum.

Prepare to be amazed by the sheer breadth of the British Museum’s collection. From the Rosetta Stone to the Elgin Marbles, you can explore thousands of years of history under one roof. 🗺️

Pro Tip: The museum offers free daily tours and talks. 🗣️

Where to Stay:

Astor Museum Hostel

Literally next door to the British Museum, this cheap hostel is a no-brainer for culture vultures. 🎒


Victoria Station: Your Gateway to London 🚉

Location: Victoria Station, London SW1V 1JT

Whether you’re arriving from Gatwick Airport or taking a train to Brighton, Victoria Station is your gateway to exploring the best of London. From the bustling markets of Camden to the historic halls of the Natural History Museum, you can hop on a train or the tube and be there in no time. 🚇

Where to Stay:

Astor Victoria Hostel

Just a stone’s throw away from Victoria Station, this is the perfect hostel London travellers should consider for easy access to Sky Garden. Plus, you’re close to Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey too! 👑


Hyde Park: London’s Backyard 🌳

Location: London W2 2UH

Opening Hours: Open daily from 5 AM to midnight

More Info: Royal Parks – Hyde Park

Spanning 350 acres, Hyde Park is London’s ultimate green oasis. Whether you’re into paddle boating on the Serpentine, cycling around the trails, or just lounging on the grass with a picnic, there’s something for everyone. 🍃


Must-See Spots:

Diana Memorial Fountain: A touching tribute to Princess Diana. 💧

Speakers’ Corner: Hear thought-provoking (and often hilarious) public speeches. 🗣️

Rose Garden: A beautifully manicured floral paradise. 🌹


Fun Activities:

Horse Riding: Book a session at the nearby riding stables. 🏇

Open-Air Swimming: Take a dip at the Serpentine Lido. 🏊‍♀️

Sports Galore: Play tennis, football, or lawn bowls at the Tennis and Sports Centre. 🎾

Events & Festivals:

Winter Wonderland: A festive extravaganza featuring an ice rink and giant observation wheel. ❄️

Concerts & More: Check the calendar for epic live music gigs. 🎤


Reviews & Ratings:

TripAdvisor users have given Hyde Park glowing reviews, often rating it 5/5. Here’s a snapshot:

Fadilah F (5/5): Loved the park’s vibrant atmosphere and proximity to the palace. 🏰

Susan S (5/5): Enjoyed the park’s safety, wildlife, and gift shop. 🦢

PrimeCritique (4/5): Impressed by the vast space and quiet spots. 🌳

Craig C (5/5): Described it as a “jewel in the crown of London.” 💎


Getting There:

Tube Stations: Hyde Park Corner (Piccadilly Line), Marble Arch (Central Line), Knightsbridge (Piccadilly Line). 🚇

Bus Routes: Multiple buses stop around the park. 🚌

Where to Stay:

Astor Hyde Park Hostel & Astor Kensington Hostel

Both are within walking distance of Hyde Park, making them perfect choices for your stay. 🏨


Wrap-Up 🎉

London is a treasure trove of unforgettable experiences, from the majestic Tower of London to the breathtaking views of the Sky Garden. And the best part? With Astor Hostels offering the best cheap hostel locations London has to offer, you can explore the city without breaking the bank 💸


Special Offer:

Use discount code 3NIGHTS when booking directly at Astor Hostels for stays between 3 and 10 nights, and enjoy extra savings. Happy travels! ✈️