You might be surprised…
Picking up where we left off on this mini-series regarding travel and the best places to see if you’re planning to go to Athens or the United Arab Emirates anytime soon (provided the COVID-19 restrictions are removed sometime within the next few months or so,) this time we’ll be talking about the city on the Thames and capital of England, London.
Yes, there’s the Buckingham Palace and Oxford Street of course but just as we did with Athens, here we’ll be talking about the hidden little gems and things that you should be doing if you want to make the utmost of your time in the city, especially if you’re staying for a short time (4–5 days are more than enough for a memorable vacation in London, but that’s just our opinion of course.)
- Climb aboard the London Eye
There’s a reason this ferris wheel has become one of London’s most significant attractions in the short time since it has been built. Officially opening its doors to the public with the dawn of the new millennium (2000), this impressive sight upon the Thames river gives those who climb aboard the most breathtaking sights that the city has to offer.
Once your capsule reaches its highest altitude, you’ll have all of London served on your platter as the glass windows provide the best possible viewing point. And if you have a fear of heights or get easy motion sickness, no need to worry, as these small rooms move so slow that you won’t even realize that you’re actually moving at all.
The London Eye is truly one of the greatest sights in all of Europe and for anyone who visits the city it’s more than worth their time and money to hitch a ride aboard this larger-than-life bicycle wheel.
2. Head down to Camden for a pub crawl
Night life is a little different in England (or Great Britain in general) which makes it all the more worth experiencing! Most people around the world arrange to go to one venue and spent their evening there… but that’s not how the British do things!
If you’re staying near a dorm or a hostel or even a hotel, you’ll more than likely be offered the chance to join in on a “pub crawl”. Don’t worry if you have no idea what this is — not many do. You’ll simply be joining a group of people as they go from bar to bar having one or two drinks until it’s time to move on to the next place.
These pub crawls usually take place in the Camden area as it is known for its night life and high number of bars and pubs. It’s a perfect opportunity to explore as many of them as possible in a short amount of time without wasting too much money. The only issue is that you’ll need to remain sober.
Are you up for the challenge?
3. Make some time to visit to one of London’s many museums
While this may sound a little trivial, or even boring, you surely won’t think so after heading up to one of the many, many museums that the city has to offer. The best thing about them is that entry is completely free — after all, you can’t put a price on knowledge! — which makes it simply too good an opportunity to pass up.
Whatever you’re into, whether it’s art, history, science, dinosaurs, space, or anything else, London’s got you covered! Just look up the exhibition that is closest to your interests and head on over.
Or you could even try out the highly popular Madame Tussauds wax museum to see how much the statues truly resemble their real-life counterparts. But that one will cost you.
4. Try out one of the local restaurants
There’s a very good reason that some of the most well-known chefs from all around the world are British. Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver are two of the greatest examples. And they both have some of the best restaurants you’ll even find.
Albeit a little pricey, it’s worth your money to give your palates the once-in-a-lifetime experience of visiting these fine establishments and trying out their truly unique and top quality cuisine that will make you realize the meaning behind the phrase “fine dining”.
It’s not just the food either. From the moment you walk into these restaurants, you’re treated like someone special which makes the whole experience even better. So while it may hurt your pocket, it’s definitely something you should try out just once while you’re in London.
5. Watch a football game at the Wembley
If there’s a Premier League or national team game going on during your visit to London, then consider yourself highly fortunate and grab the opportunity by the hair!
For Londoners, football is more than just a game; it’s a ceremony. It’s an important event, a great pass time, like going to the movies or watching a play at the theater. But while in other parts of the world you might find passionate fans in the stands, lighting up flares and screaming angry chants towards the players, the opposing fans or the referees, in England there’s a level of civility that can rarely be seen anywhere else.
People all sit together and watch the game as friends, no matter what team they support. You can hear happy songs by people supporting their club, but nothing too out of hand. Everyone’s there, supporting their own team, hoping for the best and it’s a family-friendly environment. Sure, it may not be as passionate and the rivalries may not be as hot-tempered as they used to be, but this is a place that’s welcoming to everyone.
So take the chance and go watch a game!
And those are our recommendations for the five things to see if you happen to visit London! Of course, there are other things to do as well, such as going to Harrods (don’t sleep on that!) or seeing the Shard. But we’ll leave the rest up to you.