You just got off the phone with your boss who shared some good news: you’re going on a business trip to London! It’s exciting to think of walking through London’s famous streets and reveling at the change of pace and scenery. You’ve experienced business trips that weren’t all that great before; maybe you happened to have a grueling work schedule, or perhaps you only had a few days on your itinerary and there was no time to go sightseeing.
If you’re lucky enough to have some time off on your trip, be sure to make the most of it by using those precious hours for some leisure, relaxation, or adventure. Of course, we understand that each business trip is different, and you may have only a few hours of free time available. GoWithGuide has compiled the perfect list of itineraries depending on the amount of free time you have in the beautiful city of London.
Just a few hours
In most cases, you may only have a few hours of free time during your business trip. So how can you make the most of your afternoon or evening off? If you are new to the city, we suggest you book a half-day private tour. That way, you won’t be wasting your time getting lost, stressing out, or worse, growing bored. By joining a private tour, you are sure to see the highlights of London, learn more about the city’s history, and most importantly, enjoy your down time 100%.
Some of the must-see attractions in London include the Palace of Westminster, where you can not only marvel at the seat of the Houses of Parliament, but also take some amazing photos with the iconic Big Ben. Of course, you cannot miss out on the official residence of Her Highness the Queen, Buckingham Palace. With hundreds of rooms and a ton of history stored inside the walls of this historical landmark, you are sure to get your Royal fix.
If you’d rather have a more relaxing and laid-back few hours, then head over to Borough Market on an empty stomach. That’s right, an empty stomach, because this Market is definitely a foodie’s paradise! The market boasts a large selection of hot kitchens, food stalls, cafes, and restaurants, and they are all positively mouthwatering. After a visit to Borough Market, you can definitely say you’ve made your precious free time both worth it and delicious.
A full weekend
Let’s say you were able to schedule a full weekend off for the latter part of your trip. In that case, you can really soak up the city. When all the meetings, calls, and conferences are done, you can reward yourself with some nice days out and about in London.
Aside from the city’s highlights, you may have some more time on your hands to do something different and exciting. Just outside central London, various beautiful (and less crowded, if we may add) landmarks will greet you. Visit the Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew Gardens), a UNESCO Heritage Site with a substantial collection of biodiversity. This gem is only 30 minutes away from central London, and so it is an easy escape from all the hustle and bustle. Spend a relaxing morning in one of the world’s largest Victorian glasshouses, or stroll through the vast and vivacious Great Broad Walk Borders.
Cautious about straying from the city center? Then charter a customizable private tour to feel at ease. This way, you’ll be in the company of an experienced professional tour guide throughout the experience.
A week or more
So you’ve really planned out your trip and allotted a whole week to discovering the hidden treasures dotted about the city. Our experts agree that a week or more is the best length to make the most of your visit to London. We still would suggest you take a day or two to visit the famous attractions with our guides. This is because these quintessential landmarks are famous and crowded for a reason. After which, you can tailor your itinerary to fit your ideal London experience. This can range from visiting more famous attractions, to relaxing and enjoying some tea, to venturing through some historic ruins. It’s all up to you!
With a bit of time on your hands, you can explore more of London’s beautiful attractions. Venture through the London Underground and make your way to where the notable film My Fair Lady was shot: the one and only Covent Garden. Ride one of the city’s black cabs and get dropped off right at the entrance of the world’s leading luxury department store, Harrods. Wander along London’s alleyways and small streets to find amazing hole-in-the-wall shops, landmarks, and more.
Finally, end your day rewarding yourself with a nice bit of culture and theater at West End. West End is home to some of the most prestigious theaters in the world, and so finding a show perfect for your taste won’t be difficult.
For the seasoned business traveler
Let’s say you love London, and you visit quite frequently. Chances are you’ve traversed all the famous landmarks twice already, or maybe three times, and you’re looking for something new to do in the Square Mile. Why not visit Shoreditch to feel the heartbeat of a thriving street art scene? London’s urban art is known throughout the world, with the likes of Banksy gaining world-wide acclaim. Shoreditch has been sprinkled with talented artists’ work, and if you’re looking for some adventure, a nice long walk through this part of London is perfect!
If that is not your cup of tea, perhaps a visit to Fortnum and Mason’s is. William Fortnum was an enterprising footman for Queen Anne’s household in the 1700s. He sold spare palace wax as a side job. As this sideline progressed, Fortnum left the royal service to launch a business with his landlord Hugh Mason, creating what they could not have imagined to be one of the world’s leading luxury department stores renowned for its exquisite selection of hampers, teas, and biscuits. Visiting Fortnum, now a symbol of luxury in London, is also a beloved tradition. At the Royal Exchange on Piccadilly Circus, relish your afternoon tea al fresco-style, basking in the height of English opulence as you sip the very teas the Royal Family love.
In a lively city such as London, there is always something new and exciting to do. Even on a business trip, you can savor the sights of the city no matter how much free time you have. With our private guides, you can enjoy the ultimate London experience at your own pace and time.