So, I am going to London for 15 days

Any suggestions on what to do/not do in my time in foggy old london town?

What should I be packing that normal travelers might forget? Anything good stories ideas?

I leave on the 1st… so… chop chop!

I think this thread nailed it pretty well.

It is a bit chilly this time of year but I would definitely still suggest a walk along the South Bank for a good day out.

Whatever you do, remember this. Big Brother is watching. Always.

Get some Indian food, and visit the transportation museum at Covent Garden.

A small canadian flag for your backpack?

The British Museum is worth a visit and as it’s so central will always be near any trips up the West End you make. Here you can see lots of old stuff we’ve nicked over the years.

The Victoria and Albert Museum is one of my current favourites. You would have to appreciate art and design though or it would be a bit boring. The cafe there is not too bad either, and busy since the Benugo makeover. The Natural History Museum has a new gemology exhibit. The Science museum is next door as well. These three museums are next to each other. Also within walking distance is various Princess Di stuff if you care about her; her home, the memorial water chute and a great kids playground if you’re with young 'uns.

There’s the King Tutankhamun exhibition on until August 31st 2008. More info here.

Borough Market on a Sunday morning if you are a foodie. Camden Market on Sunday for people (and freak) watching. Avoid the bit near the station, and head up to the canal and arches area.

Avoid the West End for drinking if possible. I like Shoreditch and Hoxton Square, lots of bars to be found. It’s not dressy either, as its the haunt of various Indie band types, and of course there’s always the chance of watching a drunken Amy Winehouse stagger about. In Shoreditch High Street nearby is the best Vietnamese in London, a packed and cheap cafe called the Tay Do.

he’s american, he has to get a really big canadian flag

But if he gets a really big canadian flag they’ll KNOW he’s American. Also, try not to shout. Also, don’t ask where the ‘bathroom’ is.

Seeing the Rosetta stone up close was one of the most sublime experiences of my life.

Cabinet War Rooms

People understand bathroom if you want the toilet, but if you ask for the restroom you might get some confused looks :).

Also the British are pretty positive towards Americans in general, so no need for a Canadian flag. Even in mainland Europe, the worst you might get is an ear bashing about Bush’s foreign policy from some idiot who assumes all Americans voted for him.

This is a winter term mini study abroad trip. I am visiting many london theatres and shows, so that is good. Anyone have any ideas about ways not to stand out/current affairs/common lingo

I have studied a bit about this kind of stuff, but you don’t know what to expect till you get there.

Mind the gap when boarding the underground trains.

Look right at pedestrian crossings.

Give the appearance of being slightly miserable and annoyed.

You’ll fit right in.

I was mainly kidding, although a friend apparently had some spanish backpackers get really angry and in-his face about American foreign policy on a train while abroad in Europe.

And, you’re right, it was, indeed, restroom that got me some confusion.

We are generally not as polite as you. Don’t get offended. It’s not personal and it’s not because you’re American :)

Talk with an English accent everywhere you go to try and fit in. They love that.

Talk with a Pakistani accent everywhere you go to try and fit in. They love that too.

Bonus points if you’re an actual Pakistani.

No no no, talk in Glaswegian.

Many years ago when I was just cutting my teeth on being a teenager, my folks took us to London (and I had to make a side trip to Brighton Beach being a pseudo-mod at the time). I don’t remember anyone being rude to us even though Reagan was President. They seemed to get that it wasn’t our fault personally. One day I got a bit lost looking for a game store, one that advertised in White Dwarf all the time, and my little brother and I came across this really scarey looking group of punk rockers.

“Wot? Yew lost?”

Hesitantly I asked where the store was. He glared at us for a long moment and then gave some quick, complete, and friendly directions. “Boo!”

Hell, it was by and large as friendly as New York, IMHO, which is also alot more pleasant with pleasant people (as long as you’re not a total tool around them) than it gets credit for.

I’m not going to tell you the obvious major sites and attractions, I’m going to mention some things you may not be thinking of.

First, while in London, eat fish and chips. It’s cheesy, I know, but still a wonderful fast food staple and just so fucking tasty. The place almost every local I met in the downtown told me to go to is called the Seafresh. I’ve eaten there 4 times now and I love it more every time. It’s in Victoria Station and while the sit-down restaurant is excellent, it’s a bit pricey to eat there, due to the pound/dollar difference. I recommend just going to the takeout window next door. It’s but a 1/3 mile from a tube station, if I recall correctly.

Second, go to Harrod’s. It’s just fun, if only for the amazing eye candy. You may see some post Christmas and Boxing Day delights on the cheap there, still wrapped in their Christmas glitz. They also make nice takehome gifts. If those are too pricey, there’s always Sainsbury’s!

Third, go to the more famous churches on weekends (Sundays most likely)for free or cheap concerts of very high caliber that you would otherwise have to pay dearly for. Check the schedules of St. Pauls and St. Martin-in-the-Fields for practice concerts and recitals.

Another general suggestion is to get an all-day tube riding pass, the cheap, AFTER rush hour version, to see the city. It’s a good way to orient yourself and just spend a leisurely day figuring out and previewing where you want to go, rather than just getting somewhere you thought you wanted to be, only to be disappointed.

Lastly, while you’re in London, think about day tripping via bus or taking a cheap RT ryanair flight to other places in GB. London is a gorgeous city, but there are other things to see in the vicinty too.