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London Travelers’ Checklist

10 Places Everyone Visiting London Should Go

There is something that I’ve heard many people say about London before I went there for the first time in 2019: You will either fall in love with London, or hate it immeasurably. Well, I sure was hoping I wouldn’t fall into the latter category as I hopped on a plane to London for my 3 month internship there. Thankfully, for me, it was love at first sight. I lived every day to the fullest, took in all the sights, breathed in the living history, got lost in the endless galleries and museums, ate every single thing I sat my eyes on, and enjoyed the night life to the max! Almost 2 years after this experience, I am still dying to go back as soon as possible and even pivoting my graduate school plans so that I can live there again. With the UK being one of the locations Covid-19 hit the hardest, a trip there soon is highly unlikely. But, one can still dream and reminisce! So, without further ado, here are 10 must see/do’s for London.


Camden Market

Camden is very popular for alternative culture, booming with vibrant, eclectic and diverse communities. The area is famous for its world renowned visitors who used to frequent local pubs, such as Amy Winehouse(you will see tributes to her in every corner). The area is also great for street food from international cuisines, unique art stands and vintage clothing stores.


Shoreditch

I interned in Shoreditch and I have to say I’ve never worked anywhere better. Perhaps a little further away from the city center, it is definitely one of the trendiest places in London due to the regeneration it experienced. Great for nightlife, after work pub crawls, cool eateries, chilled bars and hidden markets. I especially recommend you check out the open beer gardens and the Blues Kitchen for blues nights.


Oxford Street

Oxford Street is the go-to shopping spot for tourists and has been accounted as Europe’s busiest shopping street. With over 300 shops, the area is subject to 500 thousand visitors on a regular day (pre Covid-19 of course). If you are looking to explore internationally renowned department stores, designer stores, colorful window displays, this is the place to be.


Borough Market

OMG. I cannot begin to express how I felt as I walked around this ginormous market. There was a different type of food offering in every corner and I tasted everything from honey, to cookies, to donuts, to paella, to champagne sangria… Do not miss out on this amazing fresh food market, and get lost among all the options!


Covent Garden

Covent Garden, an area that has been active since 1654, is renowned for the luxury stores, restaurants, cafes and theatres in the area. I went here for an afternoon tea with a friend, got lost among the myriad of options they offered and ended up resorting to the beautiful ice cream shop inside. Yes, there is so many to choose from, but here is a few restaurants you simply must try:

  • Balthazar (for drinks)

  • Sushisamba (for sushi- but a little pricey)

  • Flatiron (for the best steak ever)

  • Amorino or Venchi (for ice cream)

  • Avobar (for anything avocado)


Sky Garden

I remember walking into this place after an unending elevator ride up and being mesmerized at the 360 degree view of the terrace. If you’re looking for after-work drinks, this is the place to go. Although pricey, get ready to enjoy your drink accompanied by live music, great views, and beautiful company.


Hyde Park

I keep confusing Hyde Park with Central Park and initially did not get the hype but on a day with nice weather, it is a beautiful spot to explore, go for a run, a bike tour and more! Discover the hidden galleries, walk by the lake and even bring along your rollerblades.


St. Pauls Cathedral

Although this cathedral is beautiful, the main reason you should visit this place is the rooftop bar overlooking it: Madison. I came here for an afternoon and it was popping! Great music, good cocktails and great vibes. If you’re looking for an adventure here, start by exploring the many rooftop bars in the city. My other favorites include: Shoreditch Soho House (with the pool), Radio, and Skylight!


Notting Hill

I know that many people know this place from the famous Julia Roberts movie, but I promise there is more to this charming area than the movie hype. If you are looking for a cozy afternoon stroll overlooking cute houses, parks, nice cafes, tiny boutiques and markets, this is the place to go. For an expert’s guide to the area, check out this blog.


Broadway

Finally, if you are a musical junkie like me, you are gonna have to explore the Broadway musicals. But, heads up, you will need to buy a ticket in advance, or the prices skyrocket. Also, an insider’s tip: you can find really cheap tickets for the standing audience in the back. If you are lost among the myriad of options, here are a few musicals that you simply must see: the Book of Mormon, the Phantom of the Opera, Lion King, Cats, Les Miserables, and Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.


Simply going back and exploring my London checklist left me yearning to go back there again. But, for now, I will have to add it to my wishlist on Pin Traveler.



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