A river trip is something not to be missed — Photo courtesy of Maik Kschischo
There really is something for everyone in the British capital of London, and no two visitors' itineraries will ever be the same. Choose from one below to make your first time visiting the city a great experience.
If you are a raging royalist, you will definitely want to land and hurry straight to Buckingham Palace for a glimpse of the Queen, Kate and William and the changing of the guard. Once that's done, you might want to roll back time and see where the kings and princes used to frequent at the Tower of London, which is further east from the palace and home to the Crown Jewels, the Beefeaters and the fabled Ravens.
The oldest democracy in the world — Photo courtesy of Irene
If you want to stay with current royalty, then you can visit the bars and clubs that the younger Royals frequent in Kensington, Knightsbridge and the west of the capital. Or take a trip to St Mary's Paddington and the Lindo wing. William and Harry were born here, along with many of their cousins and Kate and William's firstborn, too.
If history is more your cup of tea, then spending one day walking around a historic neighborhood, literary Bloomsbury, the Regal Regeny Stucco of Kensington and Chelsea or the gritty back streets of East London will be just right. This trek will give you a taste of how the past meets the present and fulfill your dreams of this many-faceted capital.
See London from the air to take it all in — Photo courtesy of Karen V. Bryan
If you like to feel you have a handle on the whole city first, then it might be best to start up in the air - not just looking out of your plane's window as it comes in to land, but also by taking a trip perhaps on the London Eye. On a clear day, you get to see the Palace of Westminster, up and down the River Thames and far north and south, across streets and parks to the Green hills that surround the city. From up there, you can see St Paul's, the Millennium Dome, Stamford Bridge, Battersea Power Station and Wembley Stadium.
To the Millennium Dome, and beyond . . . — Photo courtesy of Karen Roe
Or try the Emirate's cable car across the river, where you can look down on the old warehouses, London City airport and the sparkling new banking sector at Canary Wharf. If you don't like moving vehicles to look down from on high, then you could climb the Monument in the city of London, or St Paul's dome to have a look down from a more stable piece of stone.
Museums are also ten a penny in London. If design is your bag, then you can head to the Victoria and Albert, the William Morris museum in Walthamstow or the Design Museum at Shad Thames. If the history of the world (seen through British eyes) is more your thing, then the British Museum, or the Museum of London has something for everyone, with brilliantly thought-out interactive exhibitions.
Not far north from there, you can also pop in for free to the British library, where numerous foyer events will help you go home feeling like you have learnt things without even meaning to.
There are plenty of theatres and nightlife to enjoy in the British capital — Photo courtesy of Ben Sutherland
If your first love is theater or performance, the West End is full of musicals, shows and great pieces of avant garde theater. The South Bank and the national theatre, along with the Old Vic and the Young Vic in Waterloo, as well as the Royal Court in Sloane square and the Lyric in Hammersmith all have regularly revolving programs that can fill your whole trip with fun things to do in the evening.
You can literally eat the world in London, but traditional British food is making a real comeback. Or have a curry in Brick Lane, Southall or Green Street, and spice up your trip.
Traditional British food is making a comeback in the capital — Photo courtesy of Mark Whitfield