Traveling from U.S. to London the beginning of May. This is not my first time traveling but it is my first time going solo. Any other young travelers going around this time? I am a 20 year old female and don't want to travel alone!! Planning to be there for about a week till I fly to spain to meet my friend. Any advice on where to stay or go would be appreciated as well!
I also plan to go there in 2015. Looking forward for many tips here. It will surely help.
Where to go --- a few ideas..
You might like to try to get free tickets to the Ceremony of the Keys. The ceremonial locking up of the Tower of London.
Also maybe go to Shakespear's Globe Theater & stand up, with your head at stage level.
Also, but maybe a bit pricey, the open air theater in Regents park.
The Emirates cable car across the Thames.
Any of the riverside pubs on the Thames walk east from Tower Bridge.
Walk over the catwalk across Tower Bridge although that might be a bit pricey too.
I'm not sure what you've covered so far but in addition to what Steve said, have you been to all these headline places?: Houses of Parliament/Elizabeth Tower, Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace, London Eye, Covent Garden (although it's just an overpriced tourist trap to be honest), Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, St Paul's.
If museums and galleries are your thing there are more than enough of those: The National Gallery, The Tate Modern, The Victoria & Albert, The British Museum, The Churchill Museum & Cabinet War Rooms to name just a few.
Or if you're looking for more of a cultural scene maybe visit Camden Town (You can find pretty much anything there, plus it's near Regent's Park and London Zoo) , Shoreditch/Hoxton (Hipster-central ), or the South Bank where the Royal Festival is. The West End (on and around Shaftesbury Avenue mainly) is a bit like NYC's Broadway if theatre's what you're into.
I've only mentioned a few of the endless list of things to do in the capital, but hopefully it's given you some ideas. One thing I will say travel-wise is when you arrive, get an oyster card (http://www.tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/oyster/what-is-oyster?intcmp=1685), it's the quickest and easiest way to pay for travel. I know you'll probably use the tube anyway but if you want to get a bus, you won't be able to pay by cash (a rule they only brought in this year).
Callum (Born and Bred Londoner)
[ Edit: Edited on 10-Nov-2014, at 12:56 by Callrhythm ]
To add to what Callum said about museums, the Museum of London is little-known among tourists, but actually one of the best and most fun museums in the city!
Also, if that's your kind of thing, you can actually get discounted day tickets to most musicals (and some plays) in London, just by turning up early morning at the theatre. You might want to give them a call in advance though to make sure the show you want to see does indeed do it, but it's a fun way to meet people, as a lot of young solo theatre-goers queue up in the morning for these tickets.
For going out in the evening, Camden and Hackney/Dalston are the best places to meet people - Hackney is more hipster-y, with concept bars, themed pubs and pop-ups, while Camden is more classic-night-out-y and rock-oriented. I can recommend specific places if you give me more information about what you're into.
Also, Kew Gardens!! Absolutely recommended to anyone and everyone because it's simply beautiful.
Best places for shopping are Oxford street and Shoreditch; Brixton has great food stalls and restaurants, and Borough Market is wonderful on weekends.
Finally, depending on the weather, you might want to consider a day trip to Brighton? It's a one-hour train ride from London with trains every hour or more. If you do, keep in mind that tickets are much cheaper if you leave from London Bridge station.
Hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions!