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Weekend visit to London. EDIT: To Frankfurt

changy

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I'm trying to figure out what to do for the upcoming Presidents Day and since I've never been to London before, I thought I might give it a visit. The plan is to get there Saturday morning and fly out Monday morning. Is 2 full day enough to do the touristy stuff in London? Maybe throw in some shoe shopping as well?

EDIT: I think I'll go to Frankfurt instead. Plan is to go to Heidelberg from airport on saturday morning. Spend sunday in Frankfurt. Early Monday morning headover to Rudesheim then straight to FRA in the afternoon.
A little busy?
 

Biggskip

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You can probably do Savile Row and Jermyn St. in about a 1/2 day. With the remainder of your time you can probably "see the sights" but you probably won't be able to visit any of the museums (which are unbelievable). Basically you'll be able to see a number of things in person, but you probably won't have the time to really "explore the studio space" of these places.

Not sure if you'll run into an issue of things being closed on Sunday.
 

impolyt_one

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+1, I would want to spend a solid 3 weekdays and a weekend night or two in London at bare minimum, so a week, and I don't even like traveling much.
 

Davidko19

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where you coming from? Often, you can get to london faster than LA if youre on the east coast.

yes, you can "see it" in 2 days, but not nearly enough. i would take a red-eye out if I were you Friday night to at least give you a little more time.

Try and target one thing a day (parliment/buckingham/cathedral/tower of london/ portrait gallery) and the rest of the time just screw around for fun
 

Xericx

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If you're on the east coast and its a direct flight, why not.

I'd fly out on Monday night if possible and sleep on the flight back though. I walked around London for a day without an plan and got a lot in. I'd skip many of the traditionally touristy stuff and take in the culture and shops. Maybe do some touristy stuff on Sunday. I enjoyed the boat ride down the Thames.
 

Eason

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You'd be hard pressed to see everything it has to offer in a week. See a play.
 

Not Ed Harris

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Depends what sort of things you're into, how touristy you want to be and how jet-lagged you're going to be when you get here. You're going to have to be really picky about what exactly you're going to have the time to do. I'd concentrate on the sort of things that you don't get at home.

Must sees are:
British Museum
V&A
Savile Row & Jermyn Street
South Bank (Tate Modern, Globe Theatre, Borough Market)

For places to eat, I'd recommend:
Anchor & Hope (Waterloo, so only really convenient if you're going to the South Bank or the Old Vic, also they don't take bookings)
Great Queen Street (Holborn, much the same as above but do take bookings and relatively handy for Covent Garden
Harwood Arms (Fulham) - got a michelin star last year and since then it's been pretty hard to get a table, also it's not really convenient for anywhere else)
Viajante (Bethnal Green)
Dinner by Heston Blumenthal (Knightsbridge) - though you haven't a chance in hell of getting a table.
Some sort of curry place, Benares (Mayfair) if you're looking to spend or Tayyabs (Whitechapel) if you're not.

If I were you, if you're going to do this, I'd try to get across on the Friday night so you can get started first thing on Saturday morning.
 

mauser

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My honest opinion, like some other posters have stated, is that if this is your first trip, two days will hardly do any justice to London. Better expand the trip by at least 2-3 days.

My arguments:
- London is rather spread out, even the central area. Walking around and taking a select underground trips is the best bet, but that will take quite an amount of time. You could get away with a two day trip by selecting carefully which areas to explore and leaving a lot for next trips to come.
- moving to and from the airport, adding waiting times etc., will eat a chunk of your weekend. Heathrow is the closest to central London and it is about an hour away by the underground. Gatwick is the same by express train.
- London is a feast for senses and for the museums only (there are over 5 must see ones) you should allocate at least half a day per site
- moving around by car is reserved for nutters only
- a good thing to do in London is visit the pubs, and we all know how you can forget yourself to them

All in all, you can "do" London in two days, but to visit and enjoy I'd recommend extending your stay.
 

culverwood

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Aside from the fact that you cannot "do" any world class city in 2 days. yes you can have a good 2 day break in London. First get the clothes/shoe shopping done on the Saturday and even then the stuffier Savile Row tailors will be shut. Go for the central sites (Buckingham Palace & Houses of Parliament) and museums (National Gallery & British Museum) and make sure you stay somewhere central (Mayfair & St James). Save everything else for another time.
 

changy

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Thanks for the recommendations. The plan is to leave NY friday night and get there Saturday morning. Leaving london late Monday afternoon and reach NY Monday night. This gives me about 2.5 days of play time.

I can actually apply the same itenary to London, Stockholm or Frankfurt (all staying with friends). Which would be the best location for a short trip?
 

cioni2k

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Seems like an awful lot of money (or flyer miles if you got em) to waste on 2.5 days. Can't you take one or two vacation days and make it a 3-5 day trip instead? Seems much more worth it
 

culverwood

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Unless you haver relations in Frankfurt there are many better towns to spend a weekend in.
 

bentusian

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I'm traveling to Frankfurt this weekend as well. Very much looking forward to the german food (mostly pork based) and some shopping. Heard one of the major Red Wing stores in Europe is actually there, along with some shops dealing with American brands - but this may not be too attractive to you flying from NY.


I also heard there's a famous leather/shoemaking museum on the outskirts of Frankfurt which is worth a visit..
 

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