Unique Experiences in London
London is a massive, creative and diverse city that never stops evolving. Nonetheless, the history of this ancient city is still narrated through its architectural landmarks, many of which have stood for centuries. One of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, London really is a melting pot of cultures, a fact reflected in everything from art and design to food and fashion. London, at once timeless and vibrant, classical and modern, is truly a must-visit destination with so many unique experiences to offer.
There are over 250 museums in London, including some of the world’s finest, and no trip to the city would be complete without visiting at least one. London’s museums cover many – sometimes unusual – themes and house diverse collections, such as literature and the written word, transport, art, natural history, sport, and crime, policing and punishment. However, there are some places visitors on a tight schedule really should not miss. These include the British Museum, which houses more than 8 million (50,000 on display) global objects discovered by British explorers, the Victoria and Albert Museum, which displays some of the world’s greatest collections of decorative art, design, fashion and textiles, the Museum of Natural History, housing approximately 80 million specimens from nature (don’t miss the incredible animatronic dinosaur exhibition), and Tate Modern which is an icon of modern and contemporary art.
Sipping coffee in Shoreditch
The creative hub of East End, Shoreditch is one of London’s hippest areas and home to an array of markets, cafés, bars and restaurants. A visit to the area should include a walk starting from the curry houses of Brick Lane to enjoy London’s best street art, explore independent boutiques and vintage shops, and sip coffee at a cool café while watching the world go by. It’s a good idea to visit the area on Sunday to stroll around Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket, where a huge selection of second-hand clothes, accessories and bric-a-brac and incredible food can be explored.
A West End Theatre Experience
It is as easy to get lost in the Theatre District as to be enthralled by a sparkling, dramatic performance and its magical stage production. With more than 40 shows on at any one time, it is probably best to either book in advance or to have a choice in mind, especially if you’re hoping for a good seat at the most popular shows of all time, like The Phantom of the Opera, Les Misérables, The Lion King, and The Book of Mormon. However, the discount ticket booth at Leicester Square offers good deals as well. Try your luck.
Pubs play an important role in British daily life as places for socializing, watching sport, and relaxation. Pub crawling is a popular British pastime which doesn’t literally mean crawling (unless you are too drunk to stand upright!) but strolling from one pub to another and having at least one drink in each, is a way to get to know more about the city and culture. Guided pub crawls serve as social gatherings for visitors, enabling them to meet new people as well as to get acquainted with pubs and bars. There are a large number of hosts selling tickets starting from as little as £10. Check it out, or just start your own crawl.
Jogging in the Parks
Made up of 40% public green spaces, Greater London has an impressive number of parks and small gardens. There are eight Royal Parks and a great many small garden squares with five out of eight located in Central London. Though notoriously rare in the UK, a sunny day always brings Londoners to the parks. It is pleasant to soak up the atmosphere in the parks and gardens and check out the outdoor activities, such as hiring rowing boats in Hyde Park, lounging in a deckchair in Green Park, visiting London Zoo in Regent’s Park, having a picnic or simply strolling to get some fresh air in any green space; all can add a little touch of joy to your day.
Visiting Globe Theatre
Located on the south bank of the Thames, the Globe Theatre is a world- renowned venue for the performing arts and cultural events. Focusing on Shakespeare’s plays, the Globe offers an incomparable audience experience as performances take place in natural daylight and the audience surrounds the stage on all sides. The most captivating aspect, however, is the productions’ experimental approaches, which give new perspectives on some of the world’s most famous plays.
One of the best ways to soak up the evening colours of London is to take a cruise on the River Thames. Step aboard, sit back, relax and enjoy the great views of London’s magnificent riverside architecture, including some of the world’s most photographed, like Tower Bridge and London Eye. Whether on the open-air deck, which offers a panoramic view, or in the comfortable saloon with big windows, the golden hour right around sunset will make your trip to London even more memorable and unforgettable.
Exploring the Markets
There are almost 300 markets in London, and you can get just about everything there—food, flowers, fashions, antiques, collectables, and much more. The centuries-old Borough Market is famous for being a paradise for epicures who come for top-quality bread, meat, fruit, sweet treats and so on. Portobello Road Market on Saturdays is a hot spot for antiques, clothing, and second-hand goods, while Covent Garden, another London landmark, has a wide choice of collectables and handmade products. Hipsters won’t miss Brick Lane Sunday Upmarket, where street food, gifts, vintage clothing, arts and crafts and household items can be found, along with street art. 15 minutes’ walk from Brick Lane is Columbia Road Flower Market, packed with flowers, plants, and boutique shops and cafés, and which runs from 8am to 3pm. So it’s a nice idea to start at the flower market and wander over to the Upmarket afterwards.
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