Okay so most people living in London aren’t actually “locals”, but you know what I mean!
People in London aren’t like what I have heard at all! I literally went thinking everyone was going to be an asshole. haha They’re much more social than they’re given credit for. I’ve got an upper hand for meeting people because my boyfriend but they’ve all been very welcoming! We spent a day at the park playing rounders (baseball) and I’ll never forget it because all sorts of people showed up. Aidan’s friend wanted to get together for a leaving “do”. (AKA party) He invited friends who brought their friends who brought theirs! Maybe it’s my friend groups but mixing friend circles is just not a common occurrence. I loved it! And in a city so massive it’s important to be around people and constantly be meeting new friends! And if you don’t know anyone in the city it’s okay! Be bold. I went on a pub crawl in Amsterdam last year and met some great girls from Chile who happened to be in London while I was. We met up and had a blast out dancing. Don’t forget to get and keep in touch! The world is small! Also, for my AMERICAN readers, hostels ARE NOT scary! You will meet people! Friendly people! NOT crazies! Well maybe a few 😉
Be a part time tourist
I’ve done just a few “touristy” things during my time in London. It’s important to spend time seeing the “big” sites but don’t only see those! My favorite things about this city weren’t these things. However, seeing Big Ben, Parliament, Tower bridge and The Tower of London were awe inspiring. I hate feeling rushed and crowded which you will get at these places, but in short doses I enjoyed my “touristy” day!
Join the cycle crowd
I told Aidan it would NEVER happen. You know what they say about saying never! I complain still but secretly (don’t tell Aidan) I love to cycle! It’s freeing and exciting; unless a lorry pulls up beside you then it’s scary as hell! Still worth it though! Plus one of the easiest ways to get around in London. Driving there still freaks me out- people drive like they walk- FAST AND AGGRESSIVE!
London is massive and there are all kinds of fun little things to do. It is important that you get out of central London some of the time! Now it is huge so don’t think you’re going to be able to go to every area. My boyfriend grew up in Balham so we spend most of our time in South London. Brixton is one of the areas that I’ve been and can recommend. Brixton is “edgy”! It’s still a little rough, but that’s part of its character! By rough, it’s safe but you NEED to be aware of your surroundings. Use your street smarts! Pop Brixton was a fun time! It is a group of different bars, restaurants and shops in shipping containers. Brixton also has a fantastic little market full of Caribbean culture that you shouldn’t miss out on! Places like Frank’s Bar in Peckham are what sets London apart from a lot of other cities! It’s a rooftop bar but really it’s just the top level of an old parking garage. You can see ALL of London and WOW! It’s also got delicious food! Try the vegetarian dip! It was a hit in our group! Peckham is easy to get to and I can say this because I traveled there and back to Clapham Junction by MYSELF!
Take it easy
This is my number 1 tip! London can be very overwhelming to say the least. Enjoy it and don’t let yourself get overwhelmed or scared or nervous! After all you’re in one of the best cities in the world! And as Dr. Seuss said, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” So don’t be worried. Just embrace it and fall in love!