“When you are tired of London, you are tired of life” is a well-known saying about the UK’s vibrant capital. But when visiting a city so vast and rich in culture for 48 hours, it can be tough knowing where to start.

Looking at guidebooks can overwhelm, and there are guaranteed to be dozens of world-class exhibitions and plays on at one time. It is advisable to plan your trip ahead of time to avoid lengthy queues and busy crowds while making sure you have enough gaps in between culture and entertainment for spontaneous adventures in one of the world’s most enchanting cities.

Weekend Away in London

Avoid the Crowds

London may be called a city, but it is incomparable to any other city in the country – 13% of the British population live in London and there are dozens of trendy boroughs to visit. It is advisable to avoid the most tourist-heavy areas and explore some more relaxing culture in the city.

Here are a few suggestions for a more authentic London experience:

• Kensington: Visit the pre-Raphaelite wonder, Leighton House Museum, take a stroll through Holland Park or soak up the inspiration at the Design Museum.
• Hackney Wick: Allow your jaw to drop at alternative theatre performances, sample independent breweries, and explore trendy music venues.
• South Bank: Expect eclectic stalls, street performers and travel back in time by watching a play at Shakespeare’s Globe. It is worth noting that this is only a ten-minute walk to the iconic Imperial War Museum.

If possible, it is best to try to visit London in either Autumn or Spring: that way you will be able to enjoy a more peaceful trip to the city. Avoid the crowds by checking that your planned dates aren’t during school holidays and international celebrations.

Book Tickets for Cultural Trips

From the Royal Academy’s exhibitions to the Frieze art fair, world-class exhibitions are something you’ll be practically tripping over on a visit to London. It is a good idea to decide which ones you would like to visit before you head to the city so that you don’t miss out or have to spend your weekend queuing. It is worth reading reviews of current theatre performances, exhibitions and music events to make sure they will be a good standard.

Live like a Local

Hotels in London are some of the most expensive in the world, and if you don’t have the budget for a luxury hotel, renting an apartment is a brilliant option. Native Apartment Hotels offer bespoke apartments that will make you feel like you are at home, even if you are hundreds of miles away. Relax in your own kitchen or living room after a vigorous afternoon of exploring, or enjoy cooking breakfast in your pyjamas. Apartment rentals are becoming an increasingly popular option for holidaymakers in Britain because you are able to escape the formalities and unpredictable quality of hotels. In addition, you can save a lot of money this way by cooking at home or spending time just relaxing in the apartment with friends and family.

London is a brilliant destination for a short break, and it is a chance to experience some of the most thrilling art and culture in the world – so plan well beforehand to extract the most out of your stay.