CityGuide: London

Things to do in London

Updated January 2014

Piccadilly Circus is London’s famous road junction.PHOTOGRAPHY © MASTERFILE

From the East End’s edgy and arty streets, to the chic shopping meccas of Knightsbridge or Chelsea, a short tube ride in London can literally take you from one world to another. City-breakers keen to avoid the usual tacky tourist traps can easily get to grips with the “real” London during a short stay. All you need is an Oyster (travel) Card, the latest issue of Time Out, an umbrella and an open mind for the most incredible urban adventure.

Aeroplan Members are pretty seasoned travelers.  We’ve asked them for their opinion when it comes to their top picks for where to stay, where to eat, and what to do. We’ve tallied all their votes and have been able to identify the best of London, as voted by our Aeroplan Members.

Where to Stay

We’ve asked our Aeroplan Members which Aeroplan Partner Hotels they prefer to stay with when travelling to London and they have made their voices heard. They have identified the top 10 hotels in London.

Located on Strand Street is the world famous The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel. Located next to the Savoy Theatre, this hotel provides great views of London and the Thames River, all from the comfort of its world class rooms. Steps away from shopping and theatre districts, the hotel caters to those looking to relax in comfort while taking all that London has to offer at such an amazing location. Enjoy a traditional afternoon tea, lounge in The American Bar, or find your inner peace as you are pampered at the on-site spa. The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel is praised among all who visit for its attention to detail and for how far the hotel staff will go to ensure your stay at this property is not only a memorable one, but one of the best parts of your trip.

Looking for somewhere else to stay while in London? Here are the top 10 places to stay in London as voted by our Aeroplan Members:

  1. The Savoy, A Fairmont Managed Hotel
  2. Hilton London Tower Bridge
  3. Sofitel London St James
  4. London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square
  5. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London -Tower of London
  6. Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London 
  7. InterContinental London Westminster
  8. Hilton London Paddington Hotel
  9. Hilton London Canary Wharf
  10. Wyndham Grand London Chelsea Harbour

Where to Dine
le gavroche

Are you in the mood for classical French dining? With notable past chefs such as Michael Smith, Marcus Wareing, and Gordon Ramsay (among others), Le Gavroche was voted as top spot by our Aeroplan Members as the best place to eat while in London. With an unsuspecting exterior, this world class restaurant was established in 1967 (and moved to its current location in 1981) and is renowned for its French based menus. Whether sampling from their lunch menu or feasting during their dinner service;, be ready to have your taste buds tantalized. Our tip, don’t pass up on the Soufflé Suissesse! This fluffy, delicious dish is a favorite among the partisans of Le Gavroche’s and is considered one of the restaurant’s most famous dishes.

Need more dinning inspiration? Here are the top 5 places to eat while in London as voted by our Aeroplan Members:

  1. Le Gavroche
  2. The Ledbury
  3. Goodman
  4. Petrus
  5.  Barrafina

What to Do

towers of london

Housing the Crown Jewels, The Tower of London is a historic castle on the north bank of the River Thames located in central London. According to our members it is the thing to do while visiting this great city. Whether it is to revel in history, the exhibits, or the chance encounter with one of the many apparitions that are said to be a part of the Tower, there is something interesting for all ages.

The Beef Eaters Guide Tour is a hit among those who partake in one of the many tours pass through the Tower of London. With the tour company’s mix of comedy, history and musing about the not so mundane happenings within the walls of the tower, you are sure to enjoy your visit.

Looking for even more things to do in London? Here is the top 5 list of things to do in London as voted by our Aeroplan Members:

  1. Tower of London
  2. St. James’s Park
  3. Big Ben
  4. Churchill War Rooms
  5. Olympic Stadium

Let us know if our Aeroplan Members got this list right. What is your “must do” in London?

8 Responses to “CityGuide: London”

  1. grace October 20, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    the lists above are simply the standard things to do found in any London guide book. There are so many wonderful sites to see and places to go in London it is a shame that the list is so dull.

    • Aeroplan April 10, 2015 at 11:10 am #

      Hi Grace,
      This list was compiled from member votes. We agree, London is a great place to visit and there are lots of things to do! If you have any suggestions, please feel free to share!

  2. Chris Neep October 15, 2014 at 1:56 pm #

    Great list of top hotels and attractions in London.

    As a former Londoner, I’d add the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square as a ‘must see’. Also, for a real ‘taste’ of edgy London, I’d recommend a trip to Shoreditich and Spitalfields.

    Spitalfields has the oldest market in London every Saturday and Shoreditich is an eclectic mix of the poor and grungy to high fashion. Great pubs. Columbia Road flower market on Sundays is great fun, too.

    Borough Market near London Bridge is also wonderful on a Saturday. Amazing array of artisan foods and you can wander around the stalls with a glass of champagne in hand. Very civilized!

    • Aeroplan February 5, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

      Great suggestions! Thanks for the input Chris!

  3. Kathie October 5, 2014 at 7:14 pm #

    Don’t forget the Victoria and Albert Museum. Most displays are free but check the website for their special presentations. Always worth while. Go early to get tickets. They also have the very best gift shop in London. Also check out London Walks (again check online). My favorites were Bath and Inns of Court. Very reasonable and leaders are excellent.

  4. Linda April 26, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    Don’t forget Covent Garden (forget the Olympic Stadium unless you have never seen a stadium).
    From St. James Park, visit Buckingham Palace and even the art gallery, open to the public, inside the palace and you can say you have been in the Palace. Stroll down Piccadilly to Piccadilly Circus and from there to Trafalgar Square and the National Gallery (Canada House is there too).
    Few visitors know about the Ceremony of the Keys that takes place at the Tower of London after sunset. You have to apply in advance, but it’s free and enchanting. Write in advance for tickets.
    Big Ben is just a clock located in the Houses of Parliament, so don’t forget to be inside too.
    I love going to Tower Bridge and visiting the galleries inside and seeing the original workings of the bridge. Get there from the south side of the bridge.

    • Aeroplan May 6, 2014 at 2:39 pm #

      Great suggestions Linda!! Thanks for sharing!

    • Louise May 24, 2015 at 9:10 pm #

      I can’t help myself. Big Ben is actually the bell behind the clock, not the clock itself. I think I’ve taken too many tours where they spell that out! But seeing the clock and hearing Big Ben is a must as you are doing that area.