Five Must-See Spots in London

London can be overwhelming, but also overwhelmingly beautiful. I’m studying abroad in this city for three months, and my main concern is not taking full advantage of the sights and history surrounding me. After a month of living, studying, and experiencing London, I’ve narrowed down my top five favorite sights to see.

Borough Market

Borough Market is the prime spot to wander. It’s an open market with tons of produce, locally brewed liquors, butchers, food stalls, and pretty much any type of food you can think of. Even if I’m not hungry, I love to take a stroll through the market just for the atmosphere. 

The Tate Modern Museum

The Tate Modern is one of my favorite museums in London. The Tate Modern has regularly rotating exhibitions. The building is so expansive, there’s always something new to explore. The best part of the Tate Modern is the viewing platform on the top floor, and it’s the best panoramic view of the city.

The National Gallery

The National Gallery is located in the heart of Trafalgar square, which is a sight of its own. Not only is the National Gallery home to some of the world's most famous paintings, the architecture alone is a sight to behold - the building itself is definitely worth checking out, even if you never walk inside. Best part of all, like most London museums, the National Gallery is free to the public.

Hampstead Heath

It’s really hard to find alone time in the city, and when I am alone, the constant blaring of sirens outside my window makes it hard to relax. Hampstead Heath is one of the only places in London where I felt totally isolated. Hampstead Heath is a vast forest located right outside London, and stretches for miles. It’s the prime location to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and get more in tune with nature. 

Southbank

Lastly, no trip to London is complete without a walk around Southbank. You’ve probably heard of the London Eye, the River Thames, and the Tower of London (where all the beheadings took place). I highly recommend taking a stroll at night because the bridges are all lit up, and it’s breathtaking. It’s the perfect way to conclude a trip because you truly get to take in all of the city at night. 

There are so many places to see, museums to explore, and food to eat that it’s impossible to do it all in one sitting; even the locals would agree. If you’re planning on visiting London for the first time, I recommend picking the top sights that interest you the most, and taking your time seeing them. If I could add a sixth item to this list, it’d be just to walk around aimlessly and explore. Forget about the pressure to experience it all at once, and just take your sweet time.

Photo by Sonal Soni