Even if you live in the UK, London can sometimes seem like a whole new world especially if you’re from the North, but that just makes it an even better place to visit. After all, it’s the closest major city, and because it’s so different, in so many ways to the rest of the UK, you can really have an exciting time.
If you want to get the most out of London, then instead of hitting up the usual tourist traps like the London Eye and Harrods, you need to do London like a local. Here are a few ways you can do exactly that:
Stay with a Local
If you want to do London like a local, then forget the swanky hotel and find Homestay accommodation instead. You’ll be able to live with a local host, who if you’re lucky will clue you in on the real sights, not just the tourist traps, and help you to learn a bit more about London than you already knew.
Go to a Market or Three
Sure, Camden market might be a well -known tourist trap, but what about Old Spitalfields Market, which is great for finding everything from designer clothing to fine arts and great food? Or why not visit Billingsgate Fish Market, where you can pick up some of the freshest seafood you’ve ever eaten (a good gift for your host perhaps! Sure, they’re still well known, but they’re nowhere near as touristy as Camden or Borough Markets!
Eat at a Pie and Mash Shop
If you’ve never eaten pie, mash and liquor, then it might be a good idea to do so on your next visit to London. Why? Because the once staple of Londoners has long been going out of fashion, even with the locals, so there might not be many more opportunities to sample this ‘delicacy’, which is more ‘Old London’ than new, like so many of the people who were born and bred there have done in the past.
Party in East London
Most Londoners know that if you want to party the night away in style, it’s east London where you need to be. The East End is home to some of the biggest and best underground bars and clubs like cargo and the Queen of Hoxton, which attracts way more locals than tourists, who are often swayed by the West End.
Visit the Museums at Night
Locals who’ve lived in London for many years know that visiting the local museums, like the V&A and the British Museum is something that’s better done at night. Why? Well, there tend to be fewer tourists around, so it’s a more relaxed experience, and, I don’t know – there’s something more special about museums in the evening – they give off a different vibe.
Hire a ‘Boris’ Bike
Looking for an efficient way of getting around that won’t see you wasting half your trip stuck in traffic? Make like a local and rent a ‘Boris’ bike for as little as £2 and see the sights you might not get to see should you rely on other modes of transport.
These ideas should help you on your way to the authentic London experience. Enjoy!