Read this in: German
Many told me before my first trip: “You will love London!” or “London, this is a city for you!” As for the style, that may not even be so wrong. But it was a bit crazy what I experienced during my first London adventure.
London in the summer – rather difficult
The biggest mistake you can make is to visit London in August. Not only the tourist crowds from outside then storm the city, no, there are also all in England holidays – whether students or students. The city is then tolerable only between curfew and before most go to work. This gave us a really pleasant morning in Chelsea. Only the weather was even at 8 o’clock in the morning already stiflingly hot.
If you are traveling to London for a weekend trip, it is best to take light luggage. Very, light luggage. This has many advantages, if you have your 7 things the entire trip with you, because of terrorist threat and other factors, there are no lockers in the stations as in Germany, but only at selected locations luggage storage service points, then 10 times Pounds and more per suitcase per day can cost. In addition, most of Germany fly over and even a hand luggage case costs on budget flights such as Ryanair extra. So who plans his trip, should pay very close attention to where he flies. For example, from Stensted, traveling by train or bus costs around £ 20 per person per tour.
Between parks and palaces
One thing you have to leave to the people in London: The real thing with the parks. Everywhere in the city there are small, green oases where you can escape the hustle and bustle a little. This is quite beautiful and maybe even more beautiful than the neighboring country in Paris, where you can not enter the lawn of the local parks. No, here in London there is a coffee house, a kiosk and sun loungers to sit on the sunbathing lawn.
As my husband somehow has parking spaces in inner cities, we of course have grazed all the parks downtown. It is very pleasant that one of them is directly at Buckingham Palace. I would like to be honest with you: Although I only saw this palace from the outside and maybe, because I only saw it from the outside, I can say: It’s beautiful, but I’m not very impressed. As a German one knows so many castles thanks to the many former small states, even in my home village there is a small mansion.
Even in the early morning there were already tourist avalanches. So if you want to see the palace from the inside, you should see three times when the best moment is for it. It’s a bit like the Reichstag in Berlin. We prefer to go there when the snake is relatively short. Although we are still waiting for half an hour, but the Reichstag ball rewards us for this indeed with this great insight and view.
Camden Market – a shopping paradise
The corner of London that most closely matches me is probably a mix of today’s Shortage and Camden Market. The latter place does, if you go straight to 10 o’clock in the morning and then before the big onslaught in the afternoon the bending is incredibly much fun. It’s not just about pointless shopping and rushing from store to store as on Oxford Street, which I casually mentioned was pretty lax except for the Lush.
Camden Market, on the other hand, is slightly crazy and beautifully sloping with all the colorful facades that look a bit like being dropped into the book “Alice in Wonderland”. And so immersion in the small stalls is a bit like diving into a strange world. At the beginning you get a freshly squeezed juice or perhaps Cookie Dough to spoons, which looks much fancier in the office than on the Berlin Mauerflohmarkt and then you go fresh fortified in all the shops and stalls. Yes, photography is usually strictly prohibited, but inspiration can also be found in your head. I have to confess that I did not actually buy a single piece there, but my husband had a little style revelation there.
Anyone who is reasonably well-versed in fashion will also be able to see well what is Chinese shrimp and what things are worth their price. In conversation with a show owner, however, we also learned that even here the Gendrifizierung does not stop. Thus, it is questionable whether we will find the same shops again in a year or two, when we visit London next time.
Besides shopping, there are other things as well
I think I enjoy spending time at Camden Market because it reminds me a lot of the Mauerpark flea market in Berlin. Just in chic and with a different style. In addition to clothing and Antikkram, old cameras and plates, fashion from Steampunk to the 70s, there is also here and there a photo booth, a cornflakes restaurant with ice cream from cornflakes, vegan ice cream soda and all sorts of food stalls. But here, too, it should be understood that this place is full of people.
Department stores with Victorian splendor
We all know London’s department stores from the media, and I do not have to list them here. Of all the department stores, however, I liked one thing that I know only as a side note from a Sophie Kinsella novel, by far the best. A department store is not so much about buying as it is about buying a taste of the past. And ideal for a nice time travel is Fortunas and Mason. Of course, if you want, you can also stock up on macarons, shortbread and tea. But this department store proves how incredibly beautiful it can be, not to provide masses of goods and coffin tables.
My other tip is the Lush on Oxford Street, because this one is in a class of its own. On three floors you have here not only the usual suspects of the ever popular animal-free cosmetics brand – there is also a Lush Spa and many products of the Lush Kitchen, which can only be bought exclusively in this store.
Just let it drift
The nicest thing in London is actually just to run cross country and go where not every tourist guide knows insider tips. So we came to a nice, vegan bistro near King’s Cross, which had opened extra longer for us, because we were very late. We dined in the middle of row houses and clinker charms and for the first time on this day we had something like peace and quiet. Which is not so easy with these conversational Britons, who like to hear your half life story while you order.
“You’re from Germany, our whipped cream comes from Germany, that’s the best!” Yes, we often heard that phrase in the UK.
Tropical splendor instead of London Eye
I actually have inhibitions about visiting the London Eye. My husband and many of my friends advised me against it, because it costs 30 euros even before booking online and should not be particularly nice. I imagine it with a bit like the Alex in Berlin. He belongs to the cityscape and is nice to look at from the outside, but from the inside then you get no nice photos and through the windows everything seems a bit murky and yellowed.
So if you would rather gorgeous green instead of a round Giant Ferris wheel, can book online completely free one of the most beautiful views of London. In the meantime, the Sky Garden is no longer an insider tip. There is also a restaurant for those who want to enjoy the view over London a bit longer. Also, the view at Hampstead Heath Park is completely free thanks to slightly elevated starting point. The best way to get there is by subway to Gospel Oak station. Other parks in London offer a nice view over the city. My husband’s favorite is Greenwich Park, which is really close to the city center.
If you really want to experience a “real” view, you will be spoiled for choice too. Completely free is the observation deck of the shopping center One New Change. And from Tate Modern you have a beautiful view of the Thames offers.
Staying overnight without guilty conscience
In London, I would always advise to the hotel. Do not get me wrong, otherwise I’m a big fan of Airbnb, but in London I recommend for two reasons rather to a good old hotel. First, Airbnbs, even the Spartan, only start at 50 pounds. That’s a whole lot more expensive than in the rest of the country. On the other hand, I have heard inflationary often just in London from experience with super landlords and we have unfortunately accidentally booked the Airbnb a Super Vermieters. If the term does not say anything, that is to say that Super Vermieter are not so great.
These landlords often have several properties from which they make illegal hostels. And our accommodation in Shortage was incredibly scary. There were written with Edding letters to the rooms and there was a safe outside, where we should pick up the key. Especially when in the description of the Airbnbs something of a key safe stands.
That’s why I’m always very careful about London. I would rather spend the money on a nice hotel. For a short trip to London you can treat yourself to this luxury. Those who like it a little vegan-organic-alternative, like me, are well off in Shortage. There you have a great view at night of the bank towers, which are only a stone’s throw away. And like everywhere in the UK, there is no discounter flood. No, regional shops still determine the cityscape here.
London in bad weather
If you catch London in the typical weather, you do not have to punish yourself and walk up and down Oxford Street all day long. In this case, there are many beautiful museums within the city, most of which are free. You only pay for special exhibitions. So you can also spend a completely rainy trip in museums such as the British Museum, the National History Museum, the Museum of London, the National Gallery or the Tate Modern. This actually gives you enough museums for a whole week of bad weather.
If you prefer a touch of nature in bad weather instead of a dose of culture. You do not have to sit in the torrential rain in the pouring rain in one of London’s countless parks. My insider tip for this case is of course a botanical garden – how could it be otherwise? The Barbican Conservatory has a bit of tropical feel even in bad weather. The second largest conservatory in London is home to more than 2000 plant species and even koi carp.
And the Instagram fans among you can also start looking for cool selfie spots. Right now, the biggest trend is Peggy Porschen or pink house facades in Notting Hill, but knows what’s coming next. Maybe you are setting the next trend for a photo shoot in London? In any case, there are still many things to be discovered in this city.