Summer 2015: Much Love from LDN!

Quick: what do you think of when you think of London? Let’s face it, you’re probably either picturing the Big Ben, the London Eye or the River Thames. However, the reality is that all of these attractions are literally right next to each other, but London is so much more than just a ‘tourist trap’.  It’s practically bursting at the seams with culture and is, quite frankly, one of my favorite places in the world.

I was fortunate enough to spend part of my summer interning in this beautiful city. Although I live in England, I’ve never had a chance to actually explore the majority of London’s neighborhoods, or even go to the majority of these tourist attractions. Armed with my Instagram, a travel card and various event/deal apps; I took it upon myself to delve deeper into London’s streets.

I never had a concrete plan of what I was doing after work on most days, so more often than not I was on my own. This level of spontaneity helped add an extra sense of adventure to my travels. Not only was I falling in love with London, but the much-needed ‘me-time’ also helped me fall in love with myself.

Although it’s impossible to go into detail about everything I did this summer, I’ve tried to categorize the things that make London such a special place.

The Architecture:

A rich history means that you could be deep in the city, but you would never be far away from some incredible buildings. 

 

   

St Paul’s Cathedral & The Horse Guards Parade

The Parks:

What helps set London apart is that you get the best of both worlds – the bustling metropolis and the multitude of beautiful open spaces.

Regents Park & peacocks in Kyoto Gardens, Holland Park

The Diversity:

The one thing students who have gone abroad always tell me is how beautifully diverse the city is. Immediately, you might think that he large amount of ethnic minorities are tourists, however more than 44% of Londoners class themselves as ‘non-white British’!

Crowd at Piccadilly Circus & the Nigerian High Commission

The Tube:

I’ve been to New York and DC, but my heart will forever belong to London’s ‘subway’ system. Although, avoid the central line like the plagues in summer if you can.

Waterloo Station & Paddington Station

The Arts:

East London serves as the cultural hub for all things artsy and hipster. Everyone rides bikes (I’m not kidding) and you can’t walk around without staring at and envying someone else’s outfit. 

Street Art in Shoreditch, East London

The Nightlife:

Boredom doesn’t exist in London. It literally isn’t possible to be bored in this city. There is a huge amount of top-scale independent venues. Also, if you know where to look, you can find it at a decent price! At Bar Cubana, drinks were only £3 during Happy Hour, while also I got a burger for £1 through a deal on Time Out London!

Bar Cubana & BOBO Social

The Views:

There are a ton of incredible vantage points; whether it’s from the top of Primrose Hill, or from a rooftop bar. However, nothing compares to watching the sunset over Southbank. Tip- if you need to get to Waterloo, get off at Embankment and walk - it’s definitely worth the extra 5 minutes.

The Golden Bee rooftop bar, Shoreditch & the River Thames, Southbank

 

Since rent prices are astronomical, I personally don’t think I could ever live in London without a decently paid job. However, this summer definitely opened my eyes to the possibilities of city living. Perhaps you’re thinking about studying abroad in London? My advice – do it.