If you are visiting London for a holiday and would like to make the most of your 5-night stay in the city, your first step would be to find a hotel to stay in Paddington so that you are located close to the epicentre of all attractions and activities in the city. You will find it easy to do so because Paddington is home to a large variety of hotels ranging from luxurious 5 star hotels to the cheapest bed & breakfast hotels or the travel inns and as such, you can choose the hotel that would suit all your needs and your budget. The biggest advantage of staying in the Paddington area is that you will be located in the midst of all the attractions that have made London so famous and yet you will be staying in a quiet retreat away from the hustle and bustle of central London. It is essential that you chalk out a plan of action for each day of your stay, with a list of places to see and things to do depending on your taste, interests and preference.
On the first day of your stay, the ideal thing to do would be to get a feel of the city by taking a hop-on hop-off open-air double-decker bus ride that will take you round most places of interest in central London. The biggest advantage is that you can get down from the bus at any place you like, see the attraction and then hop on to the next bus going on that route. You just need to take one ticket for the bus for the whole day. If you get on top you will get a very good view of the street that you are passing and be able to see the important landmarks and then decide where to get down. You can go through the pamphlet available with the ticket and decide in your mind as to where you would like to get down.
It would be a good idea to get down near Oxford Street and spend some time observing the vast opportunities for shopping at the hundreds of shops, stores, fashion outlets and large department stores available on this street. You can then hop on to the bus again. The bus ride will give you an opportunity to get a hang of the city. After a sumptuous lunch at one of the many famous restaurants in Paddington and a well-deserved rest in your room at the hotel, you can venture out again to see one or two specific landmarks such as London Eye or Madame Tussauds Wax Museum that will take some time to see and experience. By the time you are through with these attractions you will be tired and the best thing to do would be to go to a bar in Paddington, have a drink or two and have an early dinner at one of the famous Indian restaurants and then have an early night so that you are fresh in the morning.
You can start your second day by simply walking across to Hyde Park and relaxing in the lush green meadows and getting close to nature. There are various attractions in the park and in Kensington Gardens which is just an extension of Hyde Park. You can visit one or two of these attractions that include the Serpentine Lake, Serpentine Solar Shuttle, Serpentine Gallery, and Princess Diana Memorial Fountain and then take a tour of Kensington Palace. This will keep you busy the whole morning and after a hearty lunch you can venture out to see the other attractions of central London such as Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey which has witnessed at least 16 royal weddings and is the traditional location for coronations. You can then go to see the Tower of London that overlooks the River Thames and was once used as a Royal prison; the Crown Jewels which is a vault in the Tower of London having a Royal collection of regalia, the State Crown and vestments; Piccadilly Circus which is similar to Times Square in New York; and Trafalgar Square where you can often find impromptu performances, meet interesting people and assorted backpackers in the midst of Nelson’s Column, throngs of pigeons, and the famous stone lions. A walk along the River Thames would be an exhilarating experience and by the time you have seen a couple of the above attractions, you will be completely fatigued and ready to hit the bed in your hotel room. However, it would be a good idea to go to a bar and get refreshed and rejuvenated with a drink or two and then you can have a fine dining experience at one of the Chinese restaurants in Paddington.
You can plan your third day for visiting theatres, museums and art galleries. You can choose the theatrical performance that you would love to see, book your ticket and have a fulfilling experience. If you are a Shakespeare fan, you can go to the Globe Theatre and enjoy whichever play is being performed. You can then visit any of the museums from among the many museums in the area that include National History Museum, the Imperial War Museum, the British Museum, the London Transport Museum and the Science Museum. If you are interested in arts, you can visit one of the art galleries.
On the fourth day, you can spend the whole day shopping in the various shopping districts that include Oxford Street, Regents Street, Kensington High Street, Mayfair and Portobello Road Market. You can spend the evening at a night club in Soho to get a taste of London’s nightlife.
The fifth day can be dedicated to seeing the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, the fantastic Trafalgar Square and seeing those attractions that you had missed out due to lack of time on the first or second day.