Reality: Busy. Although I have very little experience travelling, all the top tourist attractions/area were crowded. Lots of selfie sticks, people posing for pictures, people milling around etc. Of course this is expected and lived up to my expectations. Keep in mind people who live in the city are commuting early/late but the main tourist attractions aren’t as busy in the morning as the evening.
Expectation: Large city
Reality: Large city. Although I did everything in walking distance, I missed so much that was a little farther away than the main area I stayed in. I don’t regret NOT taking public transit since everything I did was within a 10 minute walk from one place to the other but to catch those extra places you definitely want to take some form of motorized transport.
Reality: Not! I managed to spend very little money by not paying for any of the top tourist attractions (I’m looking at you London Eye and Westminster Abbey) and only eating out once a day. The London Pass is an excellent way to save money if you’re looking to hit all the big places.
Reality: Only at the top places. I never waited in line for any of the museums but wandering around the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace etc. all had long lines throughout the day. I got to the British Musuem at the end of the day so there wasn’t a line but they did have gates set up that made me think the line must get long throughout the day.