Blog Post Type: Expert Opinion Piece
London is one of the world’s greatest cities. With ubiquitous coverage in the media, photos of its famous landmarks published and shared everywhere, it is instantly recognized by tens of millions. It is Europe’s most visited city, attracting 14 million visitors annually. The Tower Bridge, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and the London Eye are top attractions for tourists to see and photograph. The metropolitan area is home to more than 13 million inhabitants who speak more than 300 languages. With such diversity, you can learn a lot from the culture and people. Take a walk off the beaten path and experience some of the lesser known activities and attractions the locals engage in.
Photo by I’m Out of the Office via Trover.com
What To Do
London has a world-class music scene. Huge concert events occur throughout the year. If you are unable to experience a larger-scale show, you have plenty of alternative opportunities to see live music. Hundreds of venues and small pubs around the city organize and host live music throughout the week. For those on a tight budget, many of the live shows in smaller places are free. The music scene is diverse and covers many genres, so you won’t miss your favorites. To find a place for the type of music you like, visit LONDONEARS.
If you’re a fan of Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, and T.S. Eliot, join the Literary London Walking Tour. The Literary Tour is a guided walk that takes you down the streets and past some of the buildings featured in these writer’s famous literary masterpieces. You’ll see some of the lesser known areas of London that was a backdrop for the author’s stories and characters. Another guided tour is the Discover Walk tour of London. Join locals on this informative tour of major landmarks. You’ll also learn about local festivals, where to shop, and good places to eat.
Photo by Graciela Arena via Trover.com
Fans of trivia can quiz their fellow gamers with the London Pub Quiz. This British pub quiz is a popular event that occurs Sunday through Thursday in hundreds of pubs throughout London. Do you have what it takes to beat locals at their own game? Grab a pint and give it a try.
What To See
Unless you are moving to London, you’ll not have enough time to see everything this historic city has to offer. Outside of major landmarks and buildings that are on everyone’s must-see list, visitors can see the lighter side of London by visiting area parks including Bushy Park, Richmond Park (an excellent place for biking), and Holland Park (a nice spot for peace and quiet). If you’re in town with your partner, take a romantic stroll through the gardens of St. James Park.
Photo by Katya G. via Trover.com
London is home to world-class museums. If your budget is getting tighter by the day but you still want to check out the art scene, you can find more than half a dozen museums that are partly free, including the British Museum, National Gallery, Tate Modern, and Victoria and Albert Museum.
London is huge, so plan accordingly. Find hotels in London that will fit your budget, thus allowing for more time and money on experiences that will last a lifetime. Think “less is more,” and you’ll have an amazing time on the River Thames.
Feature Photo by Andy Yee via Trover.com
About the Writer
Tony is a freelance travel writer and photographer, roller coaster enthusiast and self-proclaimed Sudoku master. He’s based in the Midwest U.S. and blogs at The Walking Traveler. He is working with Hipmunk on their #HipmunkCityLove Project.