A beginners guide: London

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London for dummies, or for people who missed some good spots , or for those who just love London and can’t get enough of it.

London is one of my favourite cities because of many reasons: I met my true love there, there are a lot of  spots related to Harry Potter (potterhead over here), and I am in love with the English accent. The past week I have visited London for the third time and I took my family with me. It was their first time in this beautiful metropole, so I guided them around. And Besides my family, I want to take you on a guided tour through London.

The must-sees

Like every city, London has a few must see places you must visit: the highlights, the places the city is famous for. The Big ben, The London eye, The Tower Bridge and Buckingham palace are the four most famous highlights. If you think about one of these, you’ll probably associate it with London immediately. My favorite of these is the London eye. I enjoyed its ride twice already, offering a magnificent view of the (neon)lights filled skyline in the evening.

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The London eye
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The Big Ben
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The Tower Bridge

Here’s also a fun tip for Buckingham Palace: go see the changing of the guards. It’s a tradition and also really impressive to exprience. Check this link for the time table. Note: it can be busy and there’s a lot of security, if you respect their rules there won’t be a problem πŸ˜‰

Camden Town/Camden Lock market

One of my favorite places in London is the Camden Lock market. For everyone who loves markets, this is a walhalla. They have everything. It’s so big I couldn’t even capture the entire market. A lot of shops that are located there, sell their handmade products. From accessories to phone cases, the Camden Market has it all.

But the best thing is the food court. There is an innumerous amount of food trucks and stands. There’s something nice for everyone. Some cooks even give you a little preview of what they make and let you taste it. I come back every year to this place to make my tummy happy.

Museums

London has a lot of museums, and almost all are for free. Tate modern, National History, National Gallery, The British museum and Albert museum are examples of what you can visit.

Go to a musical

A typical London thing is the theatre. You’ll find them on every corner. I have a experienced a musical in London two times and it’s incredible. Only the theatre from the inside is already impressive. It feels like you have ended up in the victorian era. And above all else, I love theatre, so watching a show is something I really enjoy. the past week (28th of February – 3th of March 2017), I went to ”Beautiful: The Carole King muscial” with my family, we didn’t have the best seats (all up on the balcony) but that had his charrms.

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Jack the ripper tour

One of the things I will never forget is the Jack the Ripper tour, when I went to London on a school excursion two years ago. A guide took us to all the possible places ”The Ripper”could have murdered his victims. We went in the evening when it was already dark, which ensured we all had a boost of adrenaline. The guide showed us copies of the original pictures from the victims bodies and told us everything about every murder. It was really interesting. I also think it’s a really nice thing to do when in London because it’s a typical English story.

Visit Greenwich

Greenwich is situated in south-east London. This small town is a very nice place to escape from the big city and relax a bit. Besides the fact that Greenwich is very cute, it also has a lot of history and beautiful buildings. The National Maritime museum belongs to the UNESCO world heritage list. If you go wandering into the small town, you’ll find a market, cute little shops and some restaurants. Greenwich is the perfect place to recover from the busy city of London. Note: take the ferry to Greenwich, it’s not only easy but, you’ll discover the city in a different way.

Make a boat trip 

Discover London by ferry. This is total different way than discovering London by foot or bus, but I promise you, you won’t regret taking the boat (unless you get seasick). What I love about this way of travelling is that it is included into the public transport (so you can just pay with your oyster card), you can get to places like greenwich and you’ll see London in a totally different way. Below I will share some photographs with you which are taken on the ferry to Greenwich.

The London zoo

Escape the wild city and trade it for the wild jungle. I’ve been to the London zoo and it’s a lot of fun to go to. Whether you are with your kids, by yourself, with your friends or your lover, the animals in the London zoo will ensure a smile will appear on your face. The past year when I visited the zoo, a baby sloth was born (since then I am obsessed with sloths hehe.).

Shopping

For everyone who loves shopping, London is a walhalla. There are just some stores I want share with you, which are worth entering πŸ˜‰

Hamley’s: it’s a very big toy store. If you want to relive your childhood or you feel like spoiling your children or you just want to see the Harry Potter merchandise (yes they sell a lot of Harry Potter stuff) on the last floor. Hamley’s is fun for evreryone. The famous M&M store is also located in London. Get a colourful bag full of your own sorted M&M’s. If you love luxury, Harrods is your place to be. This insane luxury warehouse is full off beautiful things we secretly all dream about. For booklovers we have Waterstone’s, this is a book store, located at a lot of different places in London. I always like to buy a book there, just as a little souvenir. Picadilly Circus & Oxford street are the streets with the stores of the biggest brands. Covent garden also is a nice place to shop. If you are into stationery stuff, you should visit KIKI K (one of my personal favorites) or Paperchase.

Food

Like every big city, London is known for it’s big variety of restaurants, lunch rooms and markets that are spread out over the city.

Shoryu, is a restaurant I’ve discovered and really wanted to share with you. It’s based on the asian cuisine. Their speciality is ramen bowls. They serve it with soup and vegtables. On the menu, you’ll find different kinds of  bowls. (The soup is based on pork, so it’s not vegetarian friendly) . The bowls are the main courses, but you can order some sushi (there’s not a lot of variation), japanese buns and other things too. In the beginning I was not sure if I would like the ramen bowl (I am really picky eater) but it tasted like heaven in my mouth. Price category: $$$

If you are on a budget and you happen to like mexican food, you should go to Wahaca. They serve for lunch and for dinner. The food is spicy but really tasty. I can’t really say more than that you just have to taste it. Price category: $$$

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All the tips above come from my own experiences in London. Of course there are more places to visit and this just a small amount of things to do, but personally I think, when in London for the first time, these are good options to get a good impression of what the city has to offer.

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