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Navigating London: A Family Adventure

Updated: Nov 20, 2023

London, the vibrant capital of England, offers a plethora of cultural and contemporary experiences for families to cherish. To make the most of your London journey, it's essential to familiarize yourself with the city's layout and efficient transportation system:

London skyline. Photo credit: Unsplash
London skyline. Photo credit: Unsplash

Discovering London's Layout

1. Understanding the Boroughs:

  • City of London: Main financial district, Tower of London, Tower Bridge

  • The West End (Theaterland): Trafalgar Square, Piccadilly Circus, Soho, Covent Garden

  • East of Hyde Park: Oxford Street, Madame Tussaud's, Mayfair, Regent's Park

  • South of Hyde Park: Knightsbridge, Belgravia, Kensington, South Kensington

  • Westminster: Big Ben, 10 Downing Street, Buckingham Palace

Map of London (Google.com)
Map of London (Google.com)

2. Mastering London Transport:

  • London Buses: Cashless system; use a credit card or Oyster card. 700+ routes and 8000+ buses ensure minimal waiting time.

  • London Tube: Fastest way to explore; each traveler should have a contactless payment card (US credit card work great). Plan your routes using saved Google or Apple Maps as there is no internet underground

Pro Tip: Swipe your payment card at tube stations for seamless travel. After three trips, additional rides are free.



Top Family-Friendly Attractions


Many of these attractions below can be seen aboard a double decker bus. You can choose between 24 hour - 48 hour option tickets and design your own personal itinerary. There are many tour operators, but Big Bus is by far the biggest player. Some of tickets include river cruise tickets as well.

1. Trafalgar Square:

Marvel at grand fountains reminiscent of Rome and snap a photo at Nelson Tower.

Trafalgar Square in London
Trafalgar Square in London

2. London Eye:

Experience breathtaking city views from the iconic London Eye. Buy standard tickets (rotations last 30 minutes) or a Fast Track Ticket which includes admission to the London Eye 4D Experience!

At 135 meters/ 443 ft tall this is the most famous ferry wheel in the world as it was the largest after opening in the year 2000. Almost 3 million visit this annually and you can get a beautiful view of the city beyond Thames from here. On weekends the queue can be huge, so make your plans in advance! Photo credit: Johen Redman on Unsplash
At 443 ft tall, London Eye was the largest wheel after opening in 2000. Almost 3 million visit this annually and you can get a beautiful view of the city beyond Thames from here. Photo credit: Johen Redman on Unsplash

Alternatively, take the London Eye River Cruise where you can see several attractions aboard a Thames River cruise in just 40 minutes!

View from London Eye. Photo credit: Anya Kapoor
View from London Eye. Photo credit: Anya Kapoor

3. Tower of London:

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site, admire Crown Jewels, and delve into its intriguing history. If you are looking for a deeper dive, visit the tower with an expert local guide!

Unsplash: Nick Fewings (jannerboy62)
Unsplash: Nick Fewings (jannerboy62)

4. The Shard:

Ascend Europe's tallest skyscraper for panoramic city views. You need to buy tickets to Shard's viewing gallery. This combo ticket includes a Westminster walking tour with an entrance ticket in a single booking.

Unsplash: Henry Ren (henryren). Shot from the top of St. Paul's
Unsplash: Henry Ren (henryren). Shot from the top of St. Paul's

5. Piccadilly Circus:

Explore the buzzing hub; shop, dine on international cuisines, and visit Whole Foods to buy some interesting food brands.

Piccadilly Circus. Photo on Unsplash by Tânia Mousinho
Piccadilly Circus. Photo on Unsplash by Tânia Mousinho

6. South Bank of the Thames:

Enjoy a leisurely walk with picturesque views of London landmarks such as The London Eye, London bridges, House of Parliament, Tower of London, Globe Theater, etc. Consider a boat trip or explore Gabriel's Wharf for boutique shopping!


The London Dinner Cruise on the Thames River is a popular thing to do!

OR you can combine the River Sightseeing Cruise with Afternoon Tea - So British :)

OR if you are an adventure thrill seeker, get on a speed boat, honey!

People milling around on the South Bank around the River Thames with the London skyline including St Paul's and The Shard behind them.. Photo credit: Mark Saxby on Unsplash.
People milling around on the South Bank around the River Thames with the London skyline including St Paul's and The Shard behind them.. Photo credit: Mark Saxby on Unsplash.


Magical Adventures

1. Harry Potter Magic:

Visit King's Cross Station's Platform 9¾ for a little Harry Potter experience. Looking for an adventure, instead? Embark on the Warner Bros Studio Tour. Explore Harry Potter-themed attractions across London. You can also go on an Original Harry Potter Location Tour which takes you through Trafalgar Square, Coven Garden and filming sights.

King's Cross, London, United Kingdom. Photo credit: Sarah Ehlers
King's Cross, London, United Kingdom. Photo credit: Sarah Ehlers

2. West End Theatres:


Book theatre tickets online for world-class plays. Advance reservations are recommended. If you are visiting in summer,