Without doubt one of the greatest and coolest cities to visit around the world is London. Maybe, just maybe, I have a bias towards the UK’s capital as I have lived on its periphery for the last thirteen years. One thing that surely isn’t up for debate is that London is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. A hive of fun and activity that thrives as one of the most visited cities on the planet and one that should be close to the top of everybody’s travel bucket list. History, culture, famous landmarks, shopping, nightlife, all collide perfectly with London’s cool and charming personality to create a thriving metropolis that offers both classical and modern living in one of the most famous capitals in the world.
Home to nearly 9 million people, you could visit this vast sprawling city many times over and still not get to see all that it has to offer. So sit back, relax, and enjoy some of my favourite places that I like to visit.
Getting around London
First things first, let’s talk about how best to manoeuvre our way around this large city. By far the easiest and quickest way of navigating your way around London is a combination of travelling via the city’s underground network system and walking. So be sure to have your walking shoes at the ready and purchase a travel pass for the tube as you get to exploring everything the UK’s capital has to offer.
Covent Garden is definitely one of the coolest places to visit in the capital. A vibrant, cultural hotspot, in London’s west end, it is at its most dazzling in the British summertime when the open-air cafes, bars, and restaurants are in full swing. This part of the capital is a melting pot of activity and one of London’s biggest tourist magnets. Home to high-end fashion outlets, the Royal Opera House, and many a fine dining experience, be sure to put this part of London on your to do list. Make time for a visit to Neil’s Yard; this colourful and quirky courtyard is a great place to grab a bite to eat or a cup of coffee. It is also home to Redemption; a vegan, sugar free, wheat free, eatery, that serves up fantastic food and is complemented with an alcohol free bar. Make sure to try the pina colada – you can thank me later!
One of London’s edgier neighbourhoods is now a popular haven for all things hipster and cool. A thriving expression of creativity, with its stimulating energy and colourful persona, Shoreditch is home to street art, murals, boutique and vintage clothes shops, cafes, bars, galleries, restaurants and markets, making this a must see part of town.
St Paul’s Cathedral
Take the historical tour of this architectural masterpiece or simply sit within the pristine gardens and marvel at its beauty.
Primrose Hill and Regent’s Park
For a slower pace of life take a stroll through Regent’s Park and make your way towards the top of Primrose Hill. Here you can relax and drink in the fantastic view as you watch the world pass you by. If your trip so happens to coincide with the British summertime then your eyes are in for a real treat as a trip to the top will be rewarded with the chance to marvel in the beautifully coloured city skyline as you catch the dying embers of a summer’s evening from one of the best vantage points in London.
St James’s Park
Enjoy a picnic, hang out with friends, enjoy the company of a good book, or take a stroll and enjoy the colourful scenery and serenity of Regent’s Park.
Piccadilly Circus, Pall Mall, Trafalgar Square
Founded in 1819 Piccadilly Circus is one of the city’s major attractions. Located within the heart of London, this part of town is always bustling with activity. Illuminated by its famous neon, advertising screens, you will not be found wanting for things to do in London’s West End. Shoppers can visit the close-by Regent’s Street to indulge in designer brands, or head over to the neighbouring Leicester Square to enjoy a West End show. A walk down Pall Mall and then The Mall can be rounded off by pulling up a seat at the fountains in Trafalgar Square to partake in a spot of people watching.
An ever popular part of the capital offers you a chance to cast your eye over an alternative London. A hub for the city’s live music scene that offers an eclectic mixture of markets, street art, quirky boutiques, eateries catering to every taste, sprinkled with a lively nightlife scene all helping to make Camden the cool offbeat experience that you just might be looking for.
One of my favourite and also one of the best bookstores in London is Daunt Books. Located on Marlyebone high street, this quaint bookstore is the perfect haven for all book lovers. With its oak balconies, skylights and stained glass windows, this bookstore is as well known for being pleasing on the eye as it is for its wide ranging selection of quality books. With a large section of the store dedicated to books relating to travel making this beautiful Edwardian store the perfect stop off point for all travel enthusiasts.
Notting Hill is one of London’s most iconic and visited neighbourhoods. This thriving, cosmopolitan area, is home to the world renowned Notting Hill carnival as well as the ever popular Portobello Road Market. Flanked by pastel coloured houses, vintage shops, hipster cafes, bars and eateries, all of which help provide Notting Hill with its very own unique, offbeat charm, as well as making a visit to this part of town quite the quintessential London experience.
From Notting Hill to the affluent area of Chelsea and Knightsbridge. Why not take a walk down King’s Road and make your way around the lavish surroundings and see how the other half live. Sprinkled with opulent boutiques and a who’s who of big name designers south west London is the perfect place to stop off for a spot of lunch or a cup of coffee and afternoon cake.
South Bank, Westminster Bridge, Tower Bridge
No visit to London would be complete without a stroll along the River Thames. Make a pass by Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament as you walk across Westminster Bridge and head towards the Southbank; a dynamic area at the heart of London’s cultural scene, it is home to world class arts venues such as, The Southbank Centre, National Theatre and BFI film theatre. The walkway that lines the river is flanked by restaurants, bars and pubs, as well as being home to frequent fairs, events and street performers. As you make your way further down the Thames, you will pass by the Millennium Bridge and the shard before arriving at the iconic Tower bridge.
So there you have some of my favourite places in London to visit. I hope you enjoyed the post and found some ideas for your own London adventure!
Thanks for reading