After numerous weekends of back-breaking research and an endless amount of phone calls to British Airways, our Business Class flights to London were booked!
How did we get $13,000 tickets for a fraction of the price, you ask?
We redeemed a BA Companion ticket and 100,000 Avios points (+ taxes & fees). The total taxes and fuel surcharges amounted to approximately $2,200 for two people which is no joke, but relative to the cash price for flying in style it was something we had to experience!
Just as a precaution, it is quite difficult to use the BA companion ticket during peak times - you will have to be very flexible in your searches and call if you can't find anything online. The BA agents give you tips and tricks and will help find something that works for you.
When flying internationally, we love to connect out of the D.C area! On this adventure, we flew into neighboring BWI, which is a short drive into the D.C. metropolitan area and we spent an extra day eating amazing food and took in some museums. Check out our guide to the best layover city in the US: Washington, D.C.
London in a Day
If you like to get the most out of each city, but don’t have a ton of time to spend, you’ll want to plan ahead to make sure you do not miss any of the must-see attractions! For us, figuring out the metro or “tube” was critical in getting around the city without breaking the bank; we also walked a lot (26k steps in a day)!
Check out the city’s webpage dedicated to the London metro when planning your trip.
If you are trying to plan your own London in a Day adventure, here are our most memorable attractions. This was our first time in London, so the places we visited may be obvious but are must-sees!
This trendy neighborhood in East London is full of fresh restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops. We always find ourselves in hipster neighborhoods with graffiti on the walls and more coffee shops to feed our caffeine addiction.
Located in Central London, the square is deeply rooted in the country’s history and still serves as a gathering place for celebrations, festivals, protests, and street performers.
Don’t forget to get a selfie with the bronze lions @ the square.
Don’t worry if you can’t snap a picture spanning the entire width of the Palace, it’s huge! Unless you have special gear or the wide angle setting on a GoPro, this site is enjoyed best with the human eye.
If you do want to capture an epic picture, go early in the morning as there will be minimal crowds. We were out in what seemed like peak tourist season. Stick around to watch the “Changing of the Guard” ceremony or a book a tour to visit the interior of the palace.
The world-famous clock tower is an easy stop on the tube. From the Westminster Bridge over the River Thames, you can snag a beautiful shot of Big Ben (facing Southwest) or the London Eye (facing Northeast). Both sites photograph beautifully in the evening when lit.
If you want an aerial view of London, this is the place to go. According to Wikipedia, the structure towers the London skies at 443 feet tall and offers an amazing vantage point. We highly recommend purchasing tickets in advance and going at night to take in London after dark.
The wheel offers beautiful picture opportunities of the city (albeit through glass) including Big Ben (bring a camera with a good zoom).
It’s kind of like the British Times Square! Piccadilly Circus and surrounding areas offer tons of dining, shopping, and nightlife options. If you like to hoot with the owls, this place is for you.
The tube has a stop directly underground so you can easily get here no matter where you’re coming from or going. It’s also a great place to people watch and take in the street performers.
Whether you’re a Potter fan or not, no trip to London is complete without visiting the infamous 9 ¾ Platform. You can have your picture taken as you are about to transport into the magical train station on your way to Hogwarts!
The store inside also offers anything and everything your diehard Potter Fans may desire
And the most memorable restaurant prize goes to…Dishoom
We have always heard the best Indian food in the world is in London (not India as you may expect). While we haven't actually visited India, Dishoom did not disappoint.
You should definitely expect a wait, but the food and atmosphere is totally worth it! Enjoy a cool Mango & Fennel Lassi to end your meal on a hot summer night or a House Chai to warm you up in the winter.
Though it was a quick trip to London, on our way to Scotland, we accomplished more in that day then most do on a full trip. We’ll be back London!
Have you been to London? Where should we go next time are there?