What are you going to do on your last day in London? Your perfect last day might range from spending every last moment ticking off touristy things to do, revisiting some of your favorite places, or even just spending the day in the park with your friends. Here are 10 ways to spend your day, from most to least busy.
1) Complete the World of Wanderlust’s 20 Must-See Attractions List: Luckily you can already check off seeing Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, the Tate Modern, the Globe Theatre, Tower Bridge and the Tower of London, Platform 9 3/4, and Piccadilly Circus, but that still leaves 12 items left to go! Choose what you are most interested in, or try to get them all- if you have the energy!
2) Spend 24 Hours in East London: Following this Buzzfeed guide will make sure you’ve gotten as much out of the East End as possible, from food to museums to shopping, to out of the way sites. Just remember to get everything finished before our final dinner and debrief!
The Natural History Museum
3) Exhibition Road: While a trip from Mile End to South Kensington can take a while, the almost-zero walking time between museums makes it well worth it. Exhibition Road is home to the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Science Museum, and the Natural History Museum, all of which are free (special exhibits and IMAX museums are extra though.) Each museum also has a lovely cafe for refueling and vast gift shops.
4) Once in a Trip Activities: There are so many fabulous festivals, work shops, and tours going on in London, but most are once a year (aka once a trip) events. Londonist and Time Out London curate the most worthwhile activities. This weekend they recommend the Hackney Village Fayre, the Alexandra Palace Summer Festival, a Draw and Tour of Southwark Cathedral (use your skills from the Aesthetics class!), and an Industrial Heritage walk.
5) Finish Souvenir Shopping: Do you still have some extra £££ in your wallet? Spend some of it on gifts, or treat yourself! If you still need some presents for family and friends, you can find beautiful souvenirs at museums (our favorite are the National Gallery, British Museum, and Tate Modern.) Candy, tea, chocolates, and salty snacks from Sainsbury are always well appreciated, and can be taken through customs.
6) East End Eating Tour: Being historically a community for immigrants, the East End has cuisines from all over the world, including traditional British meals. Start the day with a salt beef bagel at one of Brick Lane’s 2 24-hour bakeries or a bowl at the Cereal Killer Cafe, have a curry or fish and chips for lunch, have an afternoon snack at one of the many coffee shops, and do some shopping and noshing at Spitafields Market.
Cruise Boats on the Thames
7) Take a Boat Tour: You can find inexpensive boat rides on the canal or on the River Thames, and you can get discounts for showing your Oyster card on the Thames Clippers River Bus.
8) Go to Tea: No matter how much you left in your budget, you can have a lovely tea in London. Some of our favorites are The Original Maids of Honour (on the lower £ side,) the Fan Museum (voted the ‘Best Value Afternoon Tea’ by the Daily Telegraph,) and the Kensington Palace Orangery (elegant, but expensive). If you’ve already enjoyed a traditional afternoon, try one of these quirky options!
The Top Front Seats are the Best on the Bus!
9) DIY Bus Tour: Most of the time we travel for efficiency, which means taking the Tube, but
taking a bus tour is a peaceful and unique way to see the city. After rush hour, catch a double decker- the 25 bus will take you to our final dinner at Savoir Faire- and get as close to the front row at the top as possible. As soon as the people sitting at the front move, claim their seats. Will you look like a tourist? Yes, but that’s ok.
A Gorgeous View from Primrose Hill
10) Picnic at a Park: You’ve spent the past month going non-stop, visiting museums, doing homework, taking excursions, and making friends. Get some transportable food and sparkling lemonade from the grocery or a food market, head to a park (our favorites are the Mile End Park, Hyde Park, and Hampstead Heath,) and toast to a successful study abroad experience with your new best friends.