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London Travel Guides

15 BEST THINGS TO DO IN LONDON (ENGLAND) Part II

Oxford Street
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With about 27 million tourists each year, London is the most visited place in Europe. It is not unusual to see London topping the list of most people’s travel plans. The Romans founded the city of London and it has thrived for years.
London stands amongst the most diversified cities, with most of the outstanding cultures in the world and a rich history.
The city of London is the smallest city in England and the ancient center of Europe. The London known to most people is a much wider metropolitan area and the home of about 9 million people.
Divided into various areas of South, East, North and West London – as well as central London which is the tourist and commercial hub – each district has its distinct neighborhoods. In London, there are things to see and do always. It is difficult to be bored in London because it holds some of the best history, art, shopping, entertainment and dining worldwide.

1 – Brixton academy

 Brixton academy
Source: shutterstock / Willy Barton

London houses a lot of exclusive places for people looking for live music. You can see such places everywhere or you can go to an open night at a local bar and listen to some uprising musicians. Brixton academy in south London is one of the best places to be.

The academy formerly called Astoria was a cinema and theater opened in 1929. It became the academy after 50 years and it now hosts some of the biggest pop and rock arts worldwide.
Acts such as Madonna, sex pistols, the clash and new order have all played at the Brixton academy. The smith’s final ever performance occurred at the Brixton academy. Brixton academy is the place of choice if you want live music in London.

2 – Brick lane

Brick lane
Source: shutterstock / DrimaFilm

Brick lane derived its popularity from the book and film adaptation of the same title. According to the book, brick lane is the core of the Bangladeshi community in London. It is a very diverse neighborhood, with road signs designed in both English and Bengali, and is popular for its numerous curry houses.

Brick lane is the ideal place to eat something spicy but ensure you visit one of the numerous sweet shops for some top-notch south Asian desserts. The neighborhood also has trendy bars, regular marketplaces, bringing to it a young and fashionable crowd.
Go to white chapel gallery around the block for an art display-or search for numerous street art pieces on Brick lane and the streets around.

3 – The O2

the o2
Source: shutterstock / I Wei Huang

The O2 arena named as ‘the millennium dome’ was initially built to celebrate the millennium. It was once used for children as an exhibition center with several exhibits and hands on activities.
Today, it is a first class destination for live music and stage shows, often hosting stars in the entertainment industry. It also comprises of a cinema, several bars and eateries featuring worldwide dishes.

The O2 is a nice place to hang out with friends. If you are feeling adventurous; climb along the dome to the roof where the explicit views of the city can be seen. Then, use the emirates airline across the water. The airline which is a cable car link gives an ecstatic view of the city.
Other amazing ways to explore London’s nightlife, is the top-notch London pub crawl and nightlife tour .

4 – Chinatown

Chinatown  , london
Source: shutterstock / asiastock

Chinatown in London can be located on Gerard Street, in between Leicester square and Soho. It is very easy to identify this peculiar area, because of its Chinese lanterns and dazzling red arches. Populated with top-notch Asian eateries, secret bars and supermarkets, new things are always available to dig into in Chinatown. For classy Asian dishes, try the HK Diner for sumptuous roast duck, big portions and excellent services. Bubble tea is also served here, which is an Asian trend that has spread across the city.

5 – Electric Avenue

Electric Avenue
Source: shutterstock / Willy Barton

Electric Avenue is a street located in Brixton, south London, and derived its popularity from the fact that it was the first market street in London to have electricity. It inspired the number one song by Eddy Grant and has been the core of some of the history of London, including the Brixton race riots occurring in 1981. Today, it encompasses the Brixton market, with a wide-range of food.

Then, take a look at the other parts of the neighborhood. Brixton has a lot of small shops, trading on explicit, quirky and handmade goods. It is among the diverse neighborhoods in London and an ideal place for live music or shopping.

6 – Piccadilly Circus

 Piccadilly Circus
Source: shutterstock / lunamarina

Piccadilly Circus is easily noticeable; it is a square with lots of big electronic screens and bright lights. Since the 17th century when it was known as the commercial hub, it has been an active spot.

It remains the core of west London and till date, with simple routes from the circus to some of the biggest theaters and night clubs in London, including the criterion theater. In the middle of the circus, lies the statue of Eros which is a well known tourist site and meeting point.
At the Piccadilly Circus, you can go to the Ripley’s believe it or not museum to take a look at the world’s weirdest things and acquire new knowledge. For pop culture, the Trocadero contains some small stalls and a games arcade.

7 – Leicester square

Leicester square
Source: shutterstock / IR Stone

Visit the Leicester square to be like Hollywood stars. The square is well known for hosting premieres to some of the biggest blockbuster movies. The square has been a site of attraction since 1670 and since the 19th century, has been an arena for entertainment.
Some of the biggest city screens can be seen in cinemas around the square and also different restaurants. An excellent place for relaxing during the summer or taking a break after a long day of touring London is the garden in the middle of the square.

For cult films, epic marathon nights and sing-along screenings stop at the Prince Charles cinema. The Chinese New Year is also celebrated in Leicester square, where one can get lost in the crowd and see traditional dancing dragons.

8 – Oxford Street

Oxford Street
Source: shutterstock /Daniel Vine Photography

In addition to being Europe’s busiest trading street, Oxford Street is London’s best place to shop. It has over 300 shops and accommodates over 500,000 visitors daily.

Shop tirelessly at designer stores and world renowned department stores; such as House of Fraser and Debenhams. The windows change beautifully each season. This often portrays interactive windows and work by acclaimed artists.
During Christmas, your shopping experience and evenings is brightened by the Christmas lights on Oxford Street.

9 – National Gallery

Source: shutterstock / IR Stone

Art lovers will certainly love London because it has a lot of art galleries that features top contemporary and classic art. Almost all the galleries are free to visitors, even the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square. The National Gallery is filled will amazing works for everybody – with art by Turner, Da Vinci, Rembrandt and van Gogh exhibited.

You can visit the Tate Modern on the Southbank for creative modern art. Even the building is a work of art, towering over the water front. You will find art by Klee, Picasso and Delauney inside. Also, the gallery has some creative displays at each of the building’s level – therefore, making it an excellent art fix area.

10 – Harrods

Harrods
Source: shutterstock / andersphoto

This is among the most popular department stores in London, especially known for catering for the super-wealthy and elite. The store has been running since 1824, and its customers include Laurence Olivier, Oscar Wilde and the Royal Family.
The magnificence of this store is very popular, and it’s showcased stylishly through Harrods’s themed halls. In the food hall, amazing delicacies from cheese and fresh meat to superior marmalades and pates are sold. In the Egyptian hall, the fashion is sold in an opulent style; offering this pharaoh feeling while you’re shopping.

During Christmas, several luxuries Christmas hampers filled with goodies are gathered by Harrods, making the festival even more unique. Get to Harrods and be amazed while you’re shopping for your children’s toys, abundant perfumes, and even pets in the most elite department stores in London.

11 – Museums

Museums
Source: shutterstock / Alexey Fedorenko

London is one of the world’s most ideal cities for culture – having numerous museums that are free to enjoy. There are several museums packed together along Exhibition Road in South Kensington.
Begin with the Natural History Museum and take a picture with the renowned Diplodocus skeleton in its central hall. Discover this museum and check out the old fossils and stuffed animals – a dodo model. From here you can go next door to the Science Museum for practical activities and find out the progress of science all through the ages. With a stroll you’ll get to the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) and your focus will be dragged to cultural history. In the V&A you’ll find art exhibitions, living tools and fashion from all around the world. Usually, art students come here to draw the ironwork and ancient statues.

Lastly, you can visit the British Museum. Here you’ll find mummified remains, the Rosetta stone and can also discover years of archaeological explorations. The Samsung Digital Discovery Center is great for kids, with a lot of free activities to discover history and culture using modern technology.

12 – . Bond Street

Buckingham Palace
Source: shutterstock / Vladislav Gajic

Bond Street is a link to Oxford Street and it’s well-known for its shopping activities. The selection of stores is the major difference between the two streets; however, Bond Street concentrates more on the designer and exclusive. It is among the most costly shopping streets you’ll find in London, nevertheless, it’s worth exploring for a taste of the generous.
Outside the entrances of most stores, you’ll find doormen patiently standing. Diamonds sparkle in the windows of jewelry sellers, watchmakers, as well as handbag stores. You’ll find Tiffany’s on this street, and also the flagship stores for Ralph Lauren and Cartier.

When you are done with your window shopping – or flashing the cash, take a photo with the “Allies” sculpture of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt sitting down on a bench. End your journey along Bond Street by finding the oldest outdoor statue in London at the top of the Sotheby’s entrance. This statue was gotten from Ancient Egypt and it’s more than 3,000 years old.

13 – Buckingham Palace

 Buckingham Palace
Source: shutterstock / Ewelina Wachala

You haven’t completed your London tour without taking a walk through Green Park to take a look at Buckingham Palace. Since 1837, this Palace has been the residence of the British Royal Family. This Palace has 775 rooms and London’s biggest private garden.

Several parts of the Palace permit visitors so that you can take a look at the lifestyle of the royalties. You can see the world-famous Changing of the Guard from outside. This changing occurs several times each day and it’s an incredible chance to see this ancient custom and the Royal Guard’s extreme discipline with their iconic London bearskin.

14 – Platform 9 ¾

Platform 9 ¾
Source: shutterstock / Benjamin B

King’s Cross is among the busiest places in the city with a train station serving most of the country since 1852. Recently, the area now has a sleek, modern design due to renovations – with several hidden tunnels with amazing art on its walls.
However, King’s Cross is more popular for something else for most people around the world; the station that took Harry Potter to Hogwarts. You can now visit the real life Platform 9 ¾ in the King’s Cross railway station.

Take a photograph of a luggage trolley magically vanishing into the wall to always remember your wizardry expedition. Remember to put on house colors.

15 – Discover at Night

Source: shutterstock / pcruciatti

London metropolis is lively both in the day and all through the night. You’ll always find activity – whether it’s an event or in the club. London’s lights come on when the sun sets; offering the city a beautiful illumination.
At night, there are free walking tours, or you can get in the night tour bus to explore the city. Check out the Gothic architecture of Big Ben and Westminster Cathedral or see the ST Paul’s Cathedral’s lighting at night. Get to Soho and the West End for the vibrant night life with the big neon signs.

You can go further to the Hampstead Heath for a stargazing spot or check out Hyde Park at night – bats are usually seen here. Lastly, visit Polo Bar at Liverpool Street for your greasy spoon dining any time of the day after your time discovering on of the world’s most awesome cities.

PART I

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