For tourists, London may seem like a magical place and you’ve probably mapped out a list of things to do while you’re there but when it comes to actually visiting these places, you’re left confused and disappointed with what you find. It’s either too busy or you can’t take that Instagram shot because there are people in the way. Here’s a list of what we think are the most overrated places to go in London.
Big Ben is probably high on your list of things to see in London but in actual fact, you won’t get to see Big Ben because it’s the Great Bell inside. The tower is actually called the Elizabeth Tower, renamed in 2012 to mark Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee.
Apart from the fact you won’t actually see Big Ben itself, the other problematic thing about visiting the tower is that it’s difficult to snap a shot of. At the moment, they are doing work on the tower which means it’s covered up. It’s also silent at the moment, so if you’re coming to London to hear and see Big Ben, then it’s going to be a disappointment to you.
Downing Street is a major tourist attraction; everyone wants to take a glimpse of number 10. But this is pretty much near impossible due to the fact there are so many guards and obstacles in the way. There are also so many people looking to take the same shot as you; so be mindful of this when visiting.
Downing Street is also overrated because ultimately, it’s just a door where the prime minister is – a door that you can’t even see. If you’re looking for that Instagram shot, then this is not the place for you.
The London Eye is great to take photos of London from, but when it comes to actually buying tickets to go up it, it’s going to cost you. If you pay on the day, it’s nearly £30 for one adult for a half hour ride, never mind waiting to get on it.
If you decide to visit London in the winter, of course it will be pretty with all the lights but imagine waiting in line in the freezing cold for an hour or more. Not only will you have to wait to get on, but once you’re up there, you’re stuck with a load of people trying to push their way through and get their pictures.
Harrods is a luxury department store in Knightbridge which sells anything from food and wine to beauty products. They even sold lions once. Harrods is somewhere every tourist wants to visit because of the luxurious products inside.
It’s overrated because no one actually wants to buy anything, meaning there are hundreds of people looking and standing around everywhere. It’s just a shop full with too many people wanting to say that they’ve been to Harrods.
Houses of Parliament
The Houses of Parliament may make a nice photo but if you’re looking to do a guided tour it’s almost £30. Although some big decisions are made in this place, it’s not as interesting as everyone makes it out to be.
By the time you’ve completed your guided/audio tour, there’s not much time to do anything else. The nicest photos to snap of the Houses of Parliament are probably at night, when it’s lit up. In the day, it just looks like any other architectural building.
Oxford Street is probably high on your list of places to see as well, since it’s classed as the busiest shopping street in Europe. But it’s an overrated location to visit because it’s so busy. If you’re looking to stop and take everything in, then unfortunately, you’re going to have a lot of locals pushing into you.
While you want to take photos of all the shops and high street, everyone wants to get home from work; which makes it extremely difficult to stay in one place. It’s also overrated because you can shop within many of these stores anywhere in the UK. Because it’s the busiest shopping street, everyone flocks there because they think it’s a must to shop in the capital.
As many have said before, Piccadilly Circus is a wannabe Times Square. The few screens advertising products and businesses are pathetic compared to Times Square and unfortunately this is where London falls short.
It’s an overrated tourist spot for the main reason that there’s virtually nothing there except a fountain and some large screens. There are way too many people standing around taking photos and although you may spot a London bus or taxi cab, it’s just full of traffic and honking.
Platform 9 ¾
If you’re a Harry Potter fan then you’re probably really excited to see the Warner Brother studio. But maybe you’re looking for something cheaper to indulge your fan-girl heart? Platform 9 ¾ is at Kings Cross station and is a huge tourist attraction for all Harry Potter nerds.
The downside of being a fan is that the queues are extremely long, just to take a photo with a wall. If you have to catch a train, then this is not the place for you. It’s also overrated because there isn’t actually a platform 9 ¾ anyway. It’s just a sign on a wall with a few props handed to you.