I've combed through many London "Must-See" lists both for tourist favorites and local hangouts and I think I may have compiled more than enough interesting places to stay, eat, and keep us busy during our week in London.
These are just going to be my favorites so far including hostels, cafes, restaurants, sights, museums, attractions, you name it. Links to all the posts I've found the ideas from will be below each category. ENJOY!
I've almost exclusively been using Hostel World to search hostels for the trip for amount of information and reviews they provide for each place. London is quite a bit more pricey than the rest of my destinations which really makes me want to go for the cheaper hostels, but I still want to make sure we aren't too far away from attractions and that basic necessities (aka lockers for our bags) are still going to be met.
I truly believe that you get to know a place best through its food. Not only by flavors but the atmosphere of the whole dining experience. Most people don't realize it but you get to interact with all sorts of people when you eat, from the staff, and locals, to your fellow travelers. It gives you the perfect opportunity to try new things, swap stories, and get a really good sense of the place.
So needless to say I'm bubbling over with excitement about where we will be stuffing our faces.
Multiple reviews and articles I've combed through have highly recommended taking advantage of the multiple markets for some budget meals. Some people might think this kind of dining is too chaotic to fully enjoy, but I really like the idea of this because you get to follow your nose to whatever calls to you, pick what you like, and then sit back enjoy your food and people watch.
The most talked about market in my research has been Borough Market, with its all weather, every day access, and kinda close proximity to the Tower Bridge, and the Southbank attractions, I think it will make for a great lunch or dinner spot after some sightseeing. (Just apparently not on a Saturday, unless you want to push and shove your way through a million people, and end up dropping whatever food you just waited 30 minutes in line for)
Other notable mentions were Camden Market and Broadway Market.
A few places specifically came up a lot in my research as some quality but budget friendly spots that I think we'll really appreciate. I know that we need to cut a few corners on our trip and usually that means sticking to bland and small meals, but London seems to offer a nice variety of cheap eats that I think will still allow us to get a taste of London.
27 Things Everyone Must Eat In West London, London's Best Cheap Eats, The Abroad Guide To Eating In London, Exploring London's Borough Market, Yelp - Mother Mash, 21 Cheap Eats In London
Things To Do
See The Big Sights
Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Bus Tour, Changing of the Guard (Maybe), Westminster Abbey, etc... The things you are expected to go see and send a picture of to mom.
Explore the Markets
Camden Markets, Borough Market, Portobello Road Market, and Brick Lane Market, because food and shopping and markets are exciting to me right now.
Walk Down Southbank
There is so much that people often miss when they stay just near the London Eye or Tower Bridge, you have to check out everything between too! It's a beautiful area to just wander along the river for a day.
explore the Museums
Because there are a ton, and most of them are free. And because I don't want to list them all, here's a great guide to them: Free Museums in London
Experience the Night Life
It's something I definitely want to experience throughout the entire trip. I'm young and I want to see what everyone else my age is doing for fun around here ;)
10 Free Things To Do In London, 10 Hidden Sights In London, 30 Free (Budget) Things To Do In London, 101 Things To Do In London, London Street Markets, Free Museums in London
These are just some of the ideas that I've found recently, if you have any suggestions or hidden gems we should check out while we're in London, please please please share them!
Also this is just the before, planning post. I will definitely be posting a more detailed one after the trip with everything we end up getting to do.