On the last weekend of November me and my family went to London and again I had to realize: London you are simply beautiful! We stayed at the W-Hotel just above the M & M World at Leicster Square. Piccadilly Circus, Soho, Covent Garden, Chinatown, Oxford Street and Bond Street were therefore nearby. This was also pretty much the only positive thing about the overpriced and strange styled design hotel. If you do not want to be awakened in the middle of the night by the fire alarm, because party guests are making fun, I rather not recommend that hotel.
However, it was a wonderful trip and I can only say again: I love no city as much as I love London. Especially at Christmas time, the city was beautifully decorated. It was a dream – even if the entire city was totally packed (could have been because of Black Friday).
But I do not want to tell you too much about my trip but give you some tips about things you should definitely see and do when in London.
1) If it’s your first trip to London, I would recommend you to visit the classic attractions such as Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Tower of London and the Tower Bridge, and not to forget the Queen’s home: Buckingham Palace.
To make matters easy, put yourself in one of the famous double-decker buses. You can go all day and get on and off whenever you want. I find it very handy, as you get around quickly and still get to see everything important
Otherwise you can of course use normal buses and the subway. I have therefore either used day tickets or the Oyster card. This is a card which can be charged with any amount of money and each individual trip is then deducted exactly.
2) For all who love good food – visit London’s numerous streetfood markets. Probably the most famous one is the Borough Market near London Bridge, which already exists since the 13th century. Here you’ll find food of all kinds – from fish to donuts. As far as I know the market is opened daily from 10 am to 5 pm. My favourite market is the Boiler House Food Hall at Brick Lane Market where you can find a variety of dishes from Italian over Mexican, Polish to Japanese. And not to forget probably the best cupcakes I ever had in my life. Each market stall will offer you to test a little portion of their food for free. It’s truly a great expierence. Brick Lane Market is in general opened on sunday from 9 am to 3 pm.
3) For those of you who love antiques and vintage clothes – you will feel very comfortable in London as there are many small shops and many fascinating markets where you can find lots of stuff.
Probably the most famous antiques market is the Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill. The Portobello Road is also known for its famous movie “Notting Hill” starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. It is distinguished by its small colorful houses. In general the market has opened daily from 9 am to 6 pm. This however depends on seasons and weekdays. Saturday is the most popular day, here it can sometimes be a bit too crowded. The market is relatively easy to reach and is about a quarter of an hour away from city center. Both Hammersmith and City Lines (to Ladbroke Grove) as well as Central, Circle and District lines (to Notting Hill Gate) go there.
But also Camden Market and Brick Lane Market have much to offer. On the weekends street performers play music and the mood is very lively, especially in good weather.
4) For nature lovers – definitely visit one of London’s numerous parks. In summer, the locals drink beer and wine there and let evenings end. But also in winter, a walk through Hyde Park (just for example) has something very special.
5) Speaking of beer. You should definitely visit a pub when in London. The mood has something very special. And for all who like it a bit sweeter: Try a Pimms No. 1! No one can do as well as the English. Also, Cider is very popular in England and for those who like no beer definitely a good alternative.
6) London also has a lot to offer culturally. In the National Gallery at the northern end of Trafalgar Squares, for example, one can look at Picasso’s famous painting “The Girl with the Dove” or Monet’s Waterlilies. While you can find modern art in the Tate Modern near Millenium Bridge, you can get to know the Egyptians better at British Museum. There should be something for every interest. The great thing about London: almost all museums are for free.
7) Last but not least a tip for all who like to go shopping. Really expensive stuff you’ll get on Bond Street (Chanel, Louis Vuitton, etc.), the big shopping chains, however, you will find in Oxford Street (Topshop, H & M, Zara etc.). Everything in between is probably found on Regent Street (Cos, French Connection, Kate Spade etc.). And then of course there is London’s famous department store: Harrods. A dream of every woman – neither in the Christmas season nor on normal weekends to recommend. In the week, however, you can stroll comfortably through the expensive shopping paradies and marvel. Have fun!
I hope my blog entree helps you to find around easily and have lots of fun in my favourite city London! Enjoy your trip.