48 Hours in London: Sunshine, Museums and Festivals
We knew 48 hours in London from Dubai would be tough, but with the perfect flights we had just the right amount of time to have a little taste of one of the most loved cities on Earth.
Easily one of the most popular cities in the world, especially with tourism, 48 hours in London may sound nearly impossible, but with a little planning and research (and no need to sleep), we were shocked how much we fit into a typical weekend.
London is gigantic, and if you aren’t careful, you can end up down a rabbit hole in one really cool part of the city, which is awesome, but you’ll realize you’ve spent your entire weekend in a couple city blocks and missed much of what London has to offer.
For us, we knew location was key. We had to, of course, stay centrally located, close to a tube stop and in an area where we could head out on foot in any direction and find something fun to explore. Radisson Blu Portman is just steps from the Marble Arch tube stop and smack dab in the middle of London and couldn’t have been a better pick. We went directly from the airport on the tube to the hotel in about an hour – not too shabby! We bought Oyster Cards at Heathrow, but ended up walking way more than we thought – and never once stepped into a taxi.
Don’t hate us, but we got nearly complete sunshine for two full days, save for a brief morning sprinkle, but we were too busy stuffing ourselves with bacon at the Super Breakfast to notice.
Heading out of the hotel on foot, the first thing we had to do was stretch our legs, and there might be no better place than Hyde Park on a sunny day at the start of October. The air was crisp, cool and refreshing. We had to walk right by one of the largest Primark locations in the UK to get there, which I had to pry Anne away from, but more on that later.
Remember what I said about not staying in one area too much? We skipped the hoopla of the palaces and changing of the guard and walked about an hour roughly in the direction of the British Museum, which is hands down one of the most impressive artifacts on the planet. Being that it was so sunny, we couldn’t handle being inside for too long – a couple snaps of the Rosetta Stone and we were on our way… to Camden Town!
Camden Town is one of our favorite places in London. An eclectic part of the city, music and colors everywhere, people of every shape, size and color on every corner and a great mix of tourists and locals alike. Wandering the streets and markets we absolutely fell in love with London in the fall – an absolutely perfect afternoon. We even found an amazing outdoor beer fest at the delicious Camden Town Brewery – loveling life!
But we gotta keep moving! We jumped on the tube to Brixton Market, another extremely unique and magical place you absolutely cannot miss. A wide range of market stalls selling everything from Jamaica jerk chicken to fresh produce, hipster Thai restaurants to Chilean cocktail bars, this is an easily our favorite spot in London for a couple pre-dinner drinks.
So, where did we end up in dinner? Shoreditch, of course! We found an amazing Cuban place called Tapas Brindisa that served the most amazing brisket ever – melting off the bone. Shoreditch is one of the best places in London to go out late night as well, with famous Brick Lane nearby and well worth a visit as well. Our night got a little blurry from here, but we made it back to the Radisson Blu at some point, and have never been so happy to see a bed in our life.
After getting a bit of beauty sleep, we were in for another beautiful sunny morning in London, and our flight wasn’t until 6pm, so what did we do? Primark of course. That’s right, during one of the three sunny days in the UK each year, we were not only lucky enough to be in London, but spent a good portion of the morning buying $7 jeans and $11 boots. However, to be fair, I am wearing the jeans now and cannot complain.
After we tore ourselves away from the madness that is Primark, we once again meandered into Hyde Park, enjoying the light breeze and sights and sounds. With the last couple hours we had, we couldn’t resist strolling by Buckingham Palace and Big Ben on such a nice day.
We were shocked at how much we could do during 48 hours in London from Dubai, and while it was non-stop, the weather and friends were so perfect that it didn’t feel exhausting at all and we cannot wait to go back, truly one of the most amazing cities in the world.