Arriving in London
Finally! You've arrived in London after months of planning. You had an enjoyable flight, watched a movie, slept for several hours, and may have accidentally foot snuggled with the lady laying in the same seat aisle as you. Chances are you've taken an overnight flight to London, so you have arrived to see the city in all its morning glory. Then, you realize check in time isn't until 3:00p.m. So what are you supposed to do for 4-6 hours?! BJ and I just encountered this exact scenerio, even the footsie part, on our recent European vacation. Luckily, we had a plan for when we arrived.
First, go ahead and go to your hotel. We opted to use the underground, but there are also lines of taxis at the airport waiting to take you wherever you need to go. Most hotels will take your luggage until check-in time and who knows, maybe they will have a room ready early.
The Hoxton Hotel in Holborn is nestled in the theatre district of London. The slogan on their website says, "A stone's throw away from everything, putting you right where you need to be." You're a 20 minute walk from Talfarger square and Piccadilly Circus, and a 30 minute walk from Buckingham Palace and Big Ben. There's an underground platform right around the corner if you don't feel like walking. You are also surrounded by tons of great food, bars, and a bustling nightlife. It's the perfect place to stay if you have limited time in London and want to see and do as much as possible.
We opted for the "Shoebox Room." This extremely cozy room was less than 200 pounds a night and was perfect for us. We didn't plan on spending much time in our room, but wanted somewhere nice to lay our head at night. We loved the close quarters and were full of giggles every morning as we tried to maneuver around each other to get ready.
The hotel was very modern and accommodating with a very helpful and fun staff. The lobby featured a restaurant, bakery, bar, and lots of cozy corners to lounge and chat. They also hired a DJ at night so the place was always full of people chatting and laughing. After we arrived and dropped off our luggage, we stopped in the restaurant for some breakfast. Bj opted for the traditional English Breakfast and was even brave enough to eat the blood pudding.
Since your room won't be ready for a few hours, I suggest exploring your surroundings. Like I said, we were staying in the theatre district, so we wanted to see what was playing.
London Theater District
Harry Potter, Motown, Aladdin, Lion King - we could have spent our entire vacation seeing shows! Our area was also full of the most elaborate buildings with flowers and greenery everywhere.
If you're like me, you're going to be extremely excited when you first arrive. You want to see everything all at once. One of the best things we did was jump on London's Original Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour. We got to sit and relax and see all of the sights. It was the perfect way to contain our excitement, figure out which direction everything was, and take some great pictures. It's also a great opportunity to take a cat nap if you get stuck in traffic. Just make sure you wake up to see all the exciting sights!
Tower of London
The London Eye
Big Ben and House of Parliament
The whole tour lasts about 2 hours if you don't get off the bus at all. The great part is your pass lasts 24 hours, so you can hop on first thing in the morning the following day if you'd like. The passes will set you back about $40 a person, but it is worth it.
Hopefully, after the bus tour is over your room will be ready. We took the bus to the closest stop to our hotel and headed back. We spend the rest of the afternoon napping and headed out again for dinner. Remember, jet lag is a real thing so stay hydrated and take a nap if you can!
How do YOU like to spend your first few hours abroad?
Check back later for more vacation pics and tips.
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