I’ve always loved everything British as a kid – from the Spice Girls to Harry Potter, I’ve always wished I had a cute British accent, and shopped at Topshop all the time. After being in London with Tania in November, I can say that the weather really is honestly horrible (which does slightly make me feel better about not being British!). Aside from the weather, I really do love London. Here’s my top 5 favourites!
1. The free Museums
There’s tons of amazing museums all around London, ranging from the National Gallery, to the Imperial War Museum and the Natural History Museum. Best of all, they’re all free! Some people have mentioned it before I went there, but I couldn’t quite believe that so many of them were free until I was there. And there’s something for everyone – the history buffs, artists, British enthusiasts, and more. With so many museums here, it’s impossible to ever get bored during the day, no matter how small your budget is.
2. The variety of food
While dine-in restaurants can be quite pricey, takeaway food places are pretty cheap, ranging at around 5 pounds per meal. With London being so ethnically diverse, you can find every sort of food from Indian, Thai, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, and of course the good old fish and chips in almost any given street. Living in Germany, it’s not too hard finding Mexican restaurants or Thai restaurants, but if you’re looking for something quick and on the go, Turkish food or some Currywurst might be your only options. So the possibility of eating curry chicken or pad thai whenever I pleased in London was pretty heavenly!
3. Fashion and shopping
London is one of those cities where you can tell right away who the backpackers are, because the locals are so well-dressed. I’ve always had a love for British fashion, and love Brits like Sienna Miller, Kate Moss, and Daisy Lowe with their boho-grunge-chic. While I rarely get an urge to go clothes shopping in Germany, I know my wallet definitely hated me in London. The four-story TopShop on Oxford Street is quite amazing, and let’s not forget the Cath Kidston shops, which draw you in right away with her whimsical floral prints. But my all-time favourite has got to be the shops and markets on Portobello Road, which me and Tania went to twice! Let’s say I’ve bought my fair share of skull-print scarves here!
4. The Tube
Alright, I’ll admit – I kind of love and hate the Tube. I hate it because it’s always crowded and closes so early, but I do love it because it’s so convenient. Especially when you’re only in London for a few days, the 7 pound day pass is great and definitely worth the money. Tania and I took it to all the places we wanted to go to, and without it, we wouldn’t have been able to do as much as we did!
5. The city’s love for art
London is like New York, where I feel like everyone claims or wants to be an artist of some sort. From the numerous art museums and galleries around the city, to all the public sculptures, artwork found in the tube, and much more, it’s great being in a city that seems to really embrace it. Of course, the city also boosts some of the best art schools, and artists in the world. I know I was definitely inspired by it all…ever since coming home to Germany, I’ve been wanting to paint all the time. Although with Christmas around the corner, this actually works out quite well for me…
Speaking of Christmas, all the Christmas markets in Germany have opened, and they are lovely! I still haven’t been to the Mannheim one, but I have to the Heidelberg and Bonn markets. This weekend, I’ll be going with a friend to Strasbourg, which will be my first time in France in over a year! Stay tuned! 🙂