Offering some of the best views, culture, and shopping in London, the South Bank is an argument-ender for locals who argue over whether North or South London is the best. South Bank snakes alongside the Thames River, from Lambeth Bridge to St. Saviour's Dock. You could easily walk the whole length of it in a day, but that wouldn't leave you much time to stop at the many attractions along the way.
Bring a camera, as the South Bank features amazing views across the river, from the Houses of Parliament to St. Paul's Cathedral. Want an even better view? Hop aboard the London Eye for a better look. Get a dose of culture by stopping in at one of the many museums (like the Tate Modern or the Hayward), enjoy some history at the London Dungeon or Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, or just watch the many street performers (including some who make amazing sand sculptures out of the questionably clean riverbank sand). There's plenty of indoor and outdoor cafes and pubs at which to stop along the way for a pint, a coffee, or a spot of tea. Be sure to stop at the famous Borough Market for a fresh and cheap bite to eat.
For a real treat, visit in November or December during the South Bank's German Christmas Market (yes, German, not English!), and you'll be rewarded with mulled wine, bratwursts, and cute holiday gifts on sale.
Where is it? In London, near Waterloo station.
Where to stay? At the centrally located Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. Upgrade to a room with a view of Big Ben or the London Eye.
What else should I know? The South Bank can get crowded on the weekends, especially when there's nice weather.
Who's it for? Museum-goers, history lovers, photographers, anyone who likes to walk!
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