Sometimes when you’re on holiday, the top tourist attractions simply won’t cut the mustard and instead, you need a bit of variety and originality when it comes to sightseeing.
Staying in London and the London City Suites by Montcalm means that you’re ideally located to explore some of the hidden gems of the city. Whatever the reason for your London visit, searching for the unique tourist attractions is all part of the fun.
It could be history or shopping you’re after, it could be both! Knowing your niche is the first step in on point sightseeing, and that’s why we’ve found the best spots to start. These flexible areas give you the chance to see some of London’s most famous areas, whilst also gifting you with off the beaten track options.
Beauty and history intertwine with these not to miss spots, bringing you up close and personal with London’s best entertainment, shopping districts and above all, unique culture.
A great way to start your London journey and just a short walk from the Montcalm Hotel Barbican is Princelet Street. This unique East London street is teeming with boutique shops and Victorian era, repurposed warehouse buildings. For that perfect introduction to the East London vibe, Princelet Street is the must visit for London newcomers.
Another unmissable site for the East London area is Spitalfields Market. Located a stone’s throw from London Liverpool Street Station and the London City Suites Barbican, this well-known market focuses on arts and crafts, independent fashion boutiques and delectable food stalls. With its gilded roof and plethora of stores, this market is one of the most vibrant in East London and offers a flexible range of products.
St. James’ Park
St James Park is located just off the mall, overlooking Buckingham Palace. Dating back to 1603, the park covers 57 acres of beautiful green fields and ponds. With nearby West London attractions including the ICA and Buckingham Palace, this park is the perfect spot to take a breather in during your central London sightseeing.
As West London’s best-known district, Notting Hill attracts rom-com fans, market shoppers and history buffs alike. With multicoloured houses, some of the most pristine garden squares and a scattering of traditional British Pubs, areas like Portobello Road become the quirky centre of attention for many tourists.
Trevor Square, Knightsbridge
This example of West London idyll is well worth a gander during your stay in the city. With the beautiful garden square plonked in the centre of pristine white townhouses, even just a short walk around the area will give you a taste of the diversity of London’s landscaping and architecture. A far cry from the shabby chic of East London, Trevor Square gives you a glittering facade of the London high life, complete with afternoon tea London City and plentiful options for drinks and refreshments.
The London Eye
This South Bank-based attraction is one of the best ways for newcomers to get their bearings in the city. Rising to 120 metres, the 32 capsuled Ferris wheel gives stunning views for miles in each direction of London. With one revolution taking about half an hour, this unique attraction gives visitors more than enough time to soak in the 360-round view.
Biscuiteers Boutique and Icing Café
This Notting Hill-based biscuit shop is one of the kitschiest around, bringing bright colours and delightful baked treats to sparkle in their shop front. If you’ve got a sweet tooth or equally an eye for colour, then this is the biscuit shop for you.
Big Ben is the name given to the bell within the iconic tower, but nevertheless, Elizabeth Tower as it’s now known is best recognised with the aforementioned name. This looming Thameside icon is attached to the houses of Parliament in Westminster and is one of the most striking sights on the riverfront.
Saint Paul’s Cathedral
Another London icon, the beautiful domed roof of St Paul’s Cathedral, designed by Sir Christopher Wren juts over the London skyline. With a long history dating back millennia, St Paul’s Cathedral is a beautiful religious relic and is famous for the likes of Winston Churchill’s funeral and for its atmospheric whispering gallery.
One of the most central of the London parks, Hyde Park is also one of the most diverse in its range of services. From beautiful sculptures and memorials to outdoor swimming pools, the 350-acre park is the perfect way to enjoy the history of the city, alongside arts, culture and special events.
Throughout the year you can expect to see plenty of music and arts festivals taking over the vast fields in the park. These include the Proms in the Park in September, British Summer Time in June and July, as well as Winter Wonderland over December and January.
Take a trip east and indulge in the independent bookshops, eateries and meandering canals of London Fields. With its weekend food and clothes markets, Broadway Market is the perfect place to enjoy the local lifestyle of East Londoners, complete with greasy spoons, London City restaurants and traditional London pubs.
Based in North London, Camden Market is legendary for its historic punk scene, great pubs, and of course, it’s a labyrinthine market. Full to the brim with Moroccan leather, cheap as chips eateries and vintage clothes stalls, Camden Market is the bustling market experience every tourist should see.
Another historic market, Borough is nestled right next to London Bridge and offers a food market which dates to Medieval times. With an ever-expanding selection of multicultural foods, Borough Market plays right into the hands of food lovers looking for that extra gift to bring home with them. Borough Market also rests right next to a range of tourist attractions and hidden gems. These include the historic Golden Hinde, White Cube art gallery and the majestic Shard.
The South Bank is one of the tourist hotspots of the River. Nestled near Waterloo you’ll find the National Theatre, British Film Institute and Southbank Centre, all bastions of the London culture scene and all offering the best in London entertainment.