One of my best friends in Bulgaria recently told me she’s visiting London soon for the first time so she wanted a list of things to see and do. It occurred to me that I usually write about every place I visit but I’ve never written about London!
I think this is because I have a love hate relationship with London. For me living in London was tough. I can’t understand this desire to be crammed into such a busy, expensive city and to constantly rush everywhere. You spend more than half of your salary on rent, a large amount on train tickets and if you’re very lucky you have something left over to go out once in a while. Of course, when you do go out in London, you’ll then regret how much you spent the next morning …
From the minute you leave the house in the morning you rush to the tube station, usually in the rain, and then when you get there you have to fight your way through the barriers and into the lifts or escalators to then be crammed on the platform while you wait for your train to arrive. Usually the wait isn’t more than a few minutes, although in London this can feel like hours and when the train does arrive you then have to make some ninja like moves to make sure you get on it.
But then, very often you’ll step outside one of those crowded tube stations and see something amazing, like Camden Market in the summer or Oxford Street at Christmas or Tower Bridge during the Olympic Games … and then, well, then you can’t help but fall in love with London all over again.
I found a solution to my love hate relationship, I moved out of London and now I only ever visit as a tourist, which is great! I can choose how long I want to stay in the madness, I can choose to avoid rush hour and I get to see all of the sights that half of the time people who live in London just take for granted. So I do love London, but only as a tourist!
So, for Maria, but also for anyone else who’s planning a trip anytime soon, I will share some of the things I think are amazing and not to be missed while you’re in London!
- Ride the London Eye for the best views of London
- See Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament
- Have coffee (and maybe shop) in Harrods
- Do the same in Selfridges
- Visit Camden Market in the morning
- Then have lunch at The Stables Market
- See a West End musical
- Visit the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum (which both offer free of charge entry)
- Drink champagne at the top of the Shard
- Take a big red bus tour
- Eat a curry in Brick Lane
- Visit the Tower of London and Tower Bridge
- Have lunch at Borough Market
- Visit the London Dungeons
- Shop on Oxford Street
- Eat Chinese food in China Town
- Have afternoon tea at The Ritz
- Visit Notting Hill and Portobello Road Market
- Go to Hyde Park
- Visit Tate Modern
- Spend an evening laughing at the Comedy Store
- Go clubbing in either, DSTRKT, Ministry of Sound or Fabric (depending on your taste in music!)
- Shop til you drop at Westfield Mall Stratford
- Spend an evening bar crawling in Angel
This list will go on and on … I’m going to have to come back and add to it as each time I think I’ve finished I remember something else!
Need a hotel while you’re in London? I always use booking.com
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