I spent the weekend in London with my friend Silvia, who had a conference there and asked me to tag along. I, of course, accepted! Although I was (and still am) in much need of a chilling holiday, I decided to jump right into it and do as many things as possible during the weekend, to live the fullest of experiences -and I succeeded! I realized I hadn’t been there since my 25th birthday, so it’s been nearly 5 years!
Armed with my cellphone and my tube map, I composed a gapless program, which we sure didn’t follow to the last comma, but we came pretty close! Oh, and that plan included taking LOTS of pictures! I visited many places but I think I had most fun doing four things: ONE photographing modern buildings at the London Financial Center; TWO spending a few hours shopping and eating at the Spitafields Market when I was on my way to Brick Lane (where I never arrived haha); THREE doing the Thames Cruise and London Eye with Silvia (I confess, I’m a sucker for boat tours!) and FOUR spending Sunday afternoon in Notting Hill. I did more things, and went to more places, but this was the highlight. Oh, and dining & strolling through Covent Garden! My tip for future me is: skip the London Tower, you’ve seen it enough times by now.
Quick tips for your weekend visit
- PLANNING WHAT TO DO Take out your map and tag about 3 to 4 locations you want to visit per day. Next, group the locations by proximity or ease of reach. You can plan your days around this! In order to move around, download the London Transport App, or get an offline map into your phone, in case you can’t connect to the internet.Don’t forget to buy yourself an Oyster Card at the Tube (try any machine), you’ll be saving money!
- WEEKEND TRIP If you’re short on time, I would skip most touristic attractions, there will be huge queues and you’ll end up losing time! So, check out beforehand what it is you really wanna see, and try to go at a time where there will be less people, or pre-order tickets online!
- ON A BUDGET Musea are in principle for free, except some specific expositions. If you’re on a budget, you can skip attractions such as the London Eye. I don’t regret paying for it but it wasn’t so worth it either (not when it’s raining and you can barely look outside). If you do, buy your tickets beforehand here. What I would skip next time is the Tower of London: too many tourists and queues, not the best bang for your buck, if you ask me. However, I recall loving it the very first time I was there!
- REMEMBER THAT all the cool markets (e.g., Camdem; Portobello Rd, etc.) close around 5 or 6! Shops on OxfordStreet, for instance, are open till 10pm, although not Sundays
- TIP Visit the Spitafields Market on a Saturday, it’s the coolest day! You can eat lunch there at an affordable price!
- WHAT TO PACK? It sounds cliché, but don’t forget your umbrella, and if the forecast says “rain”, do not bring along the brightest of your coats! My trenchie is going straight to the dry cleaners now 🙁
I will now share with you some of the pictures I took. I divided them by “activity”, because each place I went to had a different feel, and even the weather changed like crazy.
Financial District: seeking for lines and reflections
London Eye & Thames Cruise under the most dramatic sky!
A brief appearance of the Sun, and Notting Hill
Here’s my lovely friend Silvia! We’ve been friends since age 4!
Hope you liked the photographs! Much love,