Buckingham Palace -
First, let's get the main who-ha out the way - when visiting London you should probably (definitely) take a trip to Buckingham Palace and if you can squeeze in a changing of the guards then high-five to you. Bonus points if you get one of those fluffy-headed soldiers to crack a smile. If you want to know a bit more about the history of London you can visit the London Dungeons. The Crown Jewels are also on display in the Tower of London - but I have heard that it is slightly disappointing considering the high admission fee.
Must See -
Whilst in the area you should also hit up Big Ben and Tower Bridge - which actually has it's own exhibition (mentioned above) and is currently sporting the Olympic Rings in honor of the Games at the moment. For me, it's enough to see it from the docks - St Katharine's Pier has a good view of the Tower (where the above pic was taken from) and there is usually a small food market there so you can grab a bite to eat and sit along one of the benches on the Pier.
The London Eye is also a good way to get a view of the city - if you are willing to wait in the long queues. It's actually a really nice walk (if the weather's nice) to walk from Trafalgar Square all the way through to Waterloo over the bridge over the Thames - where you can see the London Eye and mini-fairground.
Definitely compulsory to get an iconic red-telephone booth shot.
Olympic Parks -
It's been absolutely amazing to be in London during the 2012 Olympics. The Olympic Parks and stadiums around the city are worth a visit if you get the gap.
Shopping/ City Vibe -
If you're into high-end shopping or you want to get a taste of the buzzing vibe of London City - you should head to Oxford Street, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square. Covent Garden is a great place to be ni the early evening since it is near to a lot of theatre shows, has great sidewalk restaurants and plenty of street-side performers to keep you entertained. Covent Garden also has some good indoor market shopping.
Soho District -
Soho - easily accesible from any of the areas mentioned above - is an awesome place to visit and houses a bunch of quirky cafes, restaurants, music venues and bars which gives it a really festive night vibe.
There are loads of amazing parks to visit in London - the most well known being Hyde Park, Regents Park and St James' Park. There are plenty of ducks and swans in Hyde park - and it's really fun to pack a few extra slices of bread and share them with the flocks. There are also usually a variety of different events that are on in the Parks - some free and some paid. You can check out what is on here. Kew Gardens are also very beautiful Royal Botanical Gardens. Pack a picnic - get involved.
The West End is home to London's theatre scene. It is such an amazing experience to see a live show and I'd really recommend it. Tickets are usually a little on the pricey side (depending on matinee shows/days of the week/seating) - but it is well worth it and you can make an evening out of it by stopping off for a quick bite to eat before the show.
In London, I've been lucky enough to see the Lion King, The Woman in Black, Shrek, Mama Mia and We Will Rock You. They have all been amazing. You can see a list of the current shows here.
The Tate Britain and the Tate Modern are two of the most famous Galleries in London. Both of these galleries have free admission - except for special exhibitions if you want to see something in particular. You can see which exhibitions are on - on the Tate Website.
Camden is one of my favourite areas in London - good market shopping, loads of different food options, interesting people, outrageous fashion, antique stores, thrift stores, vintage stores, creative people and filled with different arts and crafts. The Horse Stable Markets are a must see if you head to Camden.
Brick Lane -
Brick lane is an area of London that I have only recently discovered - it has a host of well-priced restaurants and bars and hosts The Sunday Up Market.
If you are stationery crazy like me - then you will definitely need to hit up a Paperchase while you are in London City. The biggest Paperchase store is located in Goodge Street. (yes, I have been there and yes, it is lovely).
Here are a few other blog posts I have done about London -
My thoughts on the Weather
Lomo Pics of London
Things I was looking forward to about London
Review of the Bluebird Chelsea
An old trip to the Tate Modern
My trip to Wimbledon 2012
A delicious cake-place - Belle Amie
Anyone else know of some London gems -feel free to share them in the comments below :)