Where to Go in London and Why You Should Travel There Now
I am studying abroad in London this summer, and, while I am taking courses to fulfill my journalism major, I also have the great opportunity to explore the city and get accumulated with the place I’m calling home for the season.
London is a safe city. It is the United Kingdom’s capital as well as the most famous city, with over 8 million inhabitants. With all of these daunting stats, it still has a low risk safety index, according to Geo Blue.
I have scoped out the city with my roommates and friends in the program, and we have some great recommendations for your next travels.
Queen’s Head - Located in Piccadilly Circus (the Times Square of London), Queen’s Head is a local pub that offers a great variety of traditionally British foods. I loved the fish and chips here, as even the mushy peas had flavor and texture. It’s a great place to just hang out with friends and grab a bite.
Little India - According to TripAdvisor, this is the best place in London for Indian food, and the country is known for this cuisine. Mr. Kay (who is famous on TripAdvisor) was our waiter, and he recommended different dishes based on spiciness preferences. It was so delicious.
Ceru - This tapas restaurant is really chill and modern style. Try a diversity of dishes with your friends. The food is great, and the ambiance is quaint but fancy. It’s a nice place for a quick bite but also for an intimate meal.
Waterstones - This place is super cute. It’s part cafe and part bookstore. Do your homework here, grab a coffee, and chill within the shelves of books. I felt like home at this place, and it’s right by my internship in London so I will definitely be returning often.
Duck and Waffle - This restaurant is a bit on the pricey side, but the view over the heart of the city is to die for. The dishes are traditional British with a twist. You can also share the plates here.
Muriel’s Kitchen - This is great for brunches! It’s a lively British bistro, offering a bit more pricey dishes, but they have it all--healthy, hearty, and delicious. Everything looks great. Try out the pancakes or banana bread. The ingredients are all locally sourced.
Ballie Ballerson - Bring out your inner kid again with this awesome bar and ball pit place. You reserve tickets for two hour slots that includes all access to food and drinks. It’s so much fun and right in Shoreditch so after you can head over to some great food places or if you want more partying there’s plenty of choices.
Box Park - This is a great place in Shoreditch. It offers both food and drinks, and there’s a lot of variety. It’s an outdoor place but there are covered areas so you won’t be cold at night. Shoreditch is better known for people in their 20s, as it’s full of art and graffiti, so you won’t feel out of place.
The Slug - This is more for students that go to Imperial College or are part of the Boston University programs. The music is a lot of throwbacks. There are a lot of really young people here, as the ambiance is more student-centric.
The Roxy - If The Slug has throwbacks, The Roxy has even more. Save your money and go before 10 for free and then at 10 on a Thursday it’s half priced pitchers. It gets crowded within the hour and is a lot of fun.
White Ferry Victoria - Pub quizzes are a big thing in London. They’re practically offered every day somewhere. White Ferry Victoria is fun, even though most teams are a bit older. They offer housemade pizzas too, which are delicious, and the trivia is fun even if you’re guessing. The money to enter (£1 a person) goes to charity.
Borough Market - This is one of the largest and oldest markets in London. Today, the market mostly sells specialty items and foods to the public. There are also often events there, like the annual pizza tasting festival.
All of the museums - You can enter museums in London for free. It’s pretty awesome. There are certain exhibits you may need to pay for, but if it’s a subject you’re interested in, it’s worth it. I highly recommend the Design Museum. I loved seeing all the graphic designs. The Science Museum is interesting as well as the Tate and the British Museum.
Abbey Road - You have to live like the Beatles for at least a minute while you’re in London. Dress up! Be Paul, George, Ringo, or John. Have fun and laugh at the other tourists too.
Soho - This is a really cool area. As soon as you’re out of the tube stop, you walk across a bridge and enter the area near the London Eye. There’s a big fair in the summer that is ongoing and has performances that vary each day. There’s some great places to also eat around here. It’s right by the Thames so it’s a nice walk too.
Hyde Park - It’s such a pretty park! You could run around it or just go for a stroll with friends. Take a book or work even and just sit and enjoy the place. There’s also a paddling pool if you’d like to take a quick swim.
Kensington Palace - Go back into the past and learn about the monarchy and its long-lasting impact on British life. The current exhibits are on Queen Victoria, Diana’s outfit designs, and the King’s State Apartments.
As amazing as London is and all the great opportunity it offers, I would also recommend traveling outside the city to the outskirts like Brighton as well as out of the country to places like Edinburgh and Paris.