If you’re new to London, try an open-top bus tour such as the Original London Sightseeing Tour. For a tour with a twist, take a London Duck Tour, starting near Waterloo, and see the sights in a bright yellow amphibious vehicle, finishing with a splashdown into the Thames. Pick up a Red River Rover pass, and you can hop on and off one of the River Cruise sightseeing boats as often as you like for up to 72 hours.
Of London’s countless attractions, the Imperial War Museum is only 10 minutes walk from Waterloo station, and the Florence Nightingale Museum is even closer, within the grounds of St Thomas’ Hospital. A 2-minute stroll from the station will find you on the South Bank, slap-bang in the middle of the location for countless memorable film scenes. Right in front of you is the Coca-Cola London Eye – book ahead to avoid the queues and get discounts on other attractions too. Just along the bank, you can soak in more of the view at the Oxo Tower.
Keep walking and you’ll hit the Southbank Centre, with its instantly recognisable concrete architecture. It squeezes a lot in – the Hayward Gallery, the Royal Festival Hall, the British Film Institute and the National Theatre, plus dozens of tempting, diverse places to eat and drink. You can book any film, show or exhibition in advance.