London’s a unique cosmopolitan metropolis with an electric atmosphere, a rich and fascinating history, and enough attractions to keep you entertained for weeks on end! Nicknamed “The Big Smoke”, it’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations on the planet, hosting tens of millions of visitors each year who flock to the city to experience the joys of the UK capital for themselves.
Are you planning a trip to London at some point in the near future? Would you like some help planning your London itinerary so you can prioritize the best bits and tick as many items off your London bucket list as possible?
Well, keep reading! Having been lucky enough to call London my home before I began my travel blog, I’ve put together a list of the 7 places I love most and recommend that everyone visits on their trip. I hope it helps!
Situated to the north of the city centre, Camden’s a lively, colourful, and eclectic place where something’s always going on. There are music venues galore (including well-known spots such as The Roundhouse and The Jazz Café), quirky independent retailers, endless bars and eateries, and, of course, the infamous Camden Market.
You’ll find the latter in a scenic position right next to Camden Lock, where over 1000 shops and stalls sell everything from clothing and health and beauty products to bespoke art pieces and London-themed souvenirs.
This is the sort of place where you come for a dose of retail therapy and stay for the atmosphere! Oh, and don’t forget the food. The international food market is nestled in the centre of Camden Market and offers a wide array of finger-licking dishes from around the world. Make sure you check it out.
While you’re in Camden, I highly recommend taking the short journey across to Primrose Hill. Another famous place in London, this grassy knoll delivers a lovely dose of nature and sublime panoramic views over the city. With canals towpaths and park trails in the area, it’s a perfect place to go for a walk, enjoy a picnic with friends, or to relax after a long day of sightseeing.
The Regent’s Park definitely deserves a mention too. Separated from Primrose Hill by a canal, you cross the bridge and end up in one of London’s most well-known expanses of greenery! This royal park is one of the largest grass areas in the city and home to more unmissable attractions. From the prestigious London Zoo and its Open Air Theatre to the endless walking paths available, it’s well worth exploring.
Onto what’s arguably my favourite place in London, Covent Garden’s yet another dynamic, captivating part of the capital that’s saturated with a sense of history and boasts all sorts of compelling reasons to visit!
Located in the all-popular West End, Covent Garden feels as grand and luxurious as it looks. There are theatres in abundance if you want to see a show and world-class restaurants and shopping opportunities in the area as well, so you’re sure to love it here if you’re a foodie or fashionista and have some money to burn.
Travelling on a budget? Don’t worry. Covent Garden caters for everyone, with everything from entertaining street performers to more affordable cafes and market stalls offering their wares. As much as anything else, I love walking around, soaking in the atmosphere and exploring on foot this historic part of the city.
If you love cobbled streets, artistic vibes, and curry for dinner, then places in London won’t get much better than Brick Lane!
Once nothing short of a slum that was home to various minority groups in London’s notorious East End, Brick Lane’s now one of the trendiest, liveliest, and most popular places in the entire city. It’s loved for its vintage thrift stores, amazing street-food, and, of course, the vast array of curry houses that set up shop here thanks to the Bangladeshi community that settled here.
The atmosphere’s always buzzing in Brick Lane. It’s a visceral place, with charismatic market vendors promoting their products, tantalizing smells fill the air from the food stalls, and a cacophony of conversation coming from the swathes of people who pour in throughout the day.
A few streets over from Brick Lane sits another hugely trendy East End location that’s a haven for hipsters, artists, and foodies alike: Shoreditch. If you’re a fan of grungy vibes, fancy coffee, and craft beer, then you’re sure to enjoy it here!
Just like Brick Lane, Shoreditch was previously renowned for its rough and ready East End nature. Fast forward to today, though, and (although vague traces of its crime-ridden roots linger in the air) the rise of gentrification has adorned it with a newfound reputation for being borderline pretentious.
Ultimately, the way you feel about Shoreditch depends on your personal tastes, interests, and worldview. What’s undeniable is its unique arty atmosphere, theatrical acumen, cool bars and cafes, lively nightlife, and quirky attractions.
Most people who visit London tend to focus their time and attention on the attractions in the centre. Things like the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, The London Eye, and so on. Now, these places hold vast appeal for good reason, but they can also distract you from other awesome attractions, like the picturesque parks you find scattered throughout the city!
Both in the past and to the present day, these green open spaces were a lifeline to Londoners who lived in cramped, back-to-back terraced housing with no access to private gardens. And, of all the parks in London, few are bigger, more illustrious, or better-known than beautiful Hyde Park.
Yet another stunning and historic space, these were once the favoured hunting grounds of the Royal Family; both Buckingham Palace and Kensington Gardens sit on the doorstep! There’s a mighty lake that extends through the centre, walking paths that criss-cross the land, and all sorts of fun (think kids’ play areas, rowing boats, manicured gardens, and famous monuments) to be had throughout the year.
Markets, Museums and Galleries
Although this isn’t one particular “place”, I’d feel remiss to discuss the best parts of London without talking about its endless array of museums, markets, and galleries! There are dozens of them to enjoy, each with its own particular appeal, but all worth your time. Better still, most of them are totally free.
As for “must-see museums”, don’t miss the Natural History Museum and Science Museum in South Kensington, and absolutely take the time to explore history (and see the Ancient Egyptian mummies) at the British Museum on Great Russell Street. If you prefer galleries, then The Tate Modern, Tate Britain, National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery should definitely be on your itinerary.
And the London markets? You’re literally spoilt for choice. To fill a hungry tummy, head to Borough Market, which runs each day of the week next to London Bridge. For a covered market that sells everything from food to clothing, Old Spitalfields Market in East London is perfect. Or, if you’re looking for artisanal products, head on down to Greenwich Market in south-east London at the weekend!
Enjoy These Unique Places in London
There you have it then: 7 unique and unmissable places in London that I recommend anyone include on an upcoming London itinerary!
Whether you head to one or all of them, they’re sure to deliver memorable days, enchanting encounters, more Instagram opportunities than you can imagine, and a fascinating glimpse into this remarkable capital city.
Do you have any questions about visiting London? Would you like additional suggestions on how to fill your time there? Drop a comment below to let us know and we’ll do our best to help. Until then, I hope you have an unforgettable time in London!
Author: Danny Newman
Bio: Danny Newman is currently writing and travelling his way around the world in a bid to figure out exactly what he’s doing with his life. He’d love you to follow along with his journey over at What’s Danny Doing.
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