London – a city where all cultures of the world meet and live peacefully alongside each other. A city of fashion, art, and glamour. London itself is a definite must-see, no doubt about that.
The series alternative travel itinerary doesn’t list obvious things that can be found in any travel guide (like the Buckingham Palace, the Big Ben or the British Museum). Instead, it is focusing on lesser known but just as beautiful things to see in London.
1. Camden Market
Camden Lock Pl, NW1 8AF
Whilst this one might not be that secret, it is still alternative and a must-see for sure. Camden Market is located in Camden Town and consists of a variety of small shops and bazars. Here you can find anything from furniture, piercings, and delicious food, to weed, bongs, and gothic clothes.
Remember that you can haggle here!
2. Shoreditch Street Art
Between Shoreditch High Street and Brick Lane, E1
Shoreditch is a part of London and one of its hipper neighborhoods. In the side streets of Shoreditch High Street it is hard to find a piece of wall that hasn’t been sprayed with graffiti or plastered with plastic art. Here you can even find paintings from people like Roa or Banksy.
3. Albert Bridge
Chelsea Embankment/Cheyne Walk
This is probably one of London’s most beautiful bridges, even surpassing the famous Tower Bridge. Albert Bridge links Chelsea to the neighborhood of Battersea and, after its recent renovation, was re-opened in 2011.
Tip: If you come here at night, you can see the glow of the 4000 light bulbs that are attached to the towers and its braces
4. Argyll Arms
18 Argyll Street, W1F7TP
Argyll Arms is very close to Oxford Street, so it is perfect for taking a break after shopping all day. Argyll Arms is a bar – and one of London’s most impressive at that. Its furniture is made of dark wood with beautiful carvings, and surrounded by big mirrors, huge chandeliers, and horns of plenty.
Between Shaftesbury Avenue and Leicester Square, W1D5PJ
In this region in London you’ll not only find 80 Chinese restaurants, but also the typical red Chinese gates, big lion statues, and Chinese letters on the street signs. What makes this place even more special is its authenticity – Chinese people actually live here: they have their own herb stores, medical practices, lawyers, and travel agents.
6. Soho Square
Soho Square, W1D4NQ
Soho is known for amazing bars and pubs, fantastic art, its writers and poets, and serves as a home to artists, writers, and musicians. Even people like Paul McCartney have their studios and companies here – the latter is named MPL Communications and can be found at 1 Soho Street.
7. Parliament Hill
South of Hampstead Heat
From here you’ll have a fantastic view over all of London. The hill is almost 100 meters high and home to a lot of ponds, which are also serving as natural pools – the so-called “Bathing Ponds”.
If you go for a swim here, make sure to take a look at the signs – there is one pond for women, one for men, and one for all genders.
8. Neal’s Yard
Between Short’s Gardens and Monmouth Street, WC2H9AT
Neal’s Yard can almost be described as an island of alternative culture – the houses are decorated with colorful plates, African masks, and loud colors. Here you can also find healthy and alternative foods like gluten-free pizza or fancy cheeses.
9. College Garden
Dean’s Yard, SW1P3PF
College Garden is located close to Westminster Abbey, but is, unlike the latter, completely free. The garden has existed for 900 years and remains a place of monastic peace.
Directions to College Garden from Westminster Abbey: When standing in front of WA, walk to the right through a gate, and then through a smaller gate on the left-hand side of the yard. After you’ve passed a fountain, you’ll find the College Garden on your right.
10. The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town
12-16 Artillery Lane, E1 7LS
This is a secret bar in the midst of London. If you want to visit the bar, you first have to go to The Breakfast Club, which is where the bar is hidden underneath. To get to the bar, tell a member of the staff that you would “like to see the mayor” – and they will lead you down the stairs, towards an old fridge – behind which you can find The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town.