Our first step into London, we weren’t really sure what to expect. We were interested in seeing some of the signature architecture pieces a(such as Big Ben) and I was eager to try the British coffee and pastries. Other than that, we weren’t expecting to fall in love with London, but I believe we did. We adored the style of nearly every building that we saw, the people were nice, and so was the atmosphere.
There seemed to be a lot to do in London. From museums to libraries to bars, London was booming with history and entertainment. We spent a lot of our time in the museums because they were massive, loaded with information that we both enjoyed and wanted to take in. You could spend an entire day in The British Musuem and still not see everything. It had rare and beautiful items from around the world in it. One of my favorites was the actual mummy of Cleopatra. The best part was that the museum is FREE! As we were walking around the city during the early evening, people were surrounded outside bar areas, chatting happily. It seemed to have a good social scene as well if you are interested in going out and mingling with a few drinks.
If you are a Harry Potter fan, you must stop by King’s Cross, between platform 9 and 10, to see platform 9 3/4. It was one of my favorite things to do here. Being able to see anything Harry Potter related geeks me out. It was a awesome expierence to see where they filmed such a big part of the movie at real life. It added a little magic to the muggle life of London. In the area, they added a cart with books and a caged owl going into the wall, you can even take a picture there with it for around 15 pounds. They stage the photo nicely, giving you a scarf, making you jump, and snapping the picture at the perfect spot to make it look like you are taking a run straight into the platform wall. To the left of this spot is a really cool Harry Potter store where you can purchase wands, clothing, sweets, books, and much more.
The weather and food may have been the only disappointment that we had with London. More so the weather than the food. We were only there 3 days in early May, but it was chilly, rainy, and gloomy the whole time. I am not sure how the summers are, but I’m not someone who likes cold or rain. If you don’t mind it, you would love London all around. However, the food was not bad, just not many options. It was a lot of coffee shops, snack/bar food, and pastries. It was harder to find restaurants with actual full meals, but their was a coffee shop and bakery on every corner. I’m a huge coffee and pastry lover, but even for me I would of liked to see a bigger range of restaurants. As for the coffee experience of me, I was also a little disappointed. I tried to order an iced coffee with a little soy milk and they insisted that was a latte and added much more milk than they would have in the States where I am from. The coffee was weak and very creamy, it seemed to have much more milk than coffee in it. It tasted like a creamier but less sweet Dunkin’ Donuts coffee to me. Nothing to brag about. I got my coffee from Costa, this may have been one of the lower rated shops however, I am not sure.
Overall, we both enjoyed the atmosphere and lifestyle of London. We would both go back in a heartbeat, I am even interested in doing a co-op for school in London in the next few years. I would deal with the cold and limited food and live in London for quite some time. Just add a few layers of clothing and cook meals at home, and living in London would be amazing for the both of us! We recommend giving London a try, we think you’ll enjoy it.
If you are traveling on a budget and are interested in staying in hostels, check out our review of the hostel we stayed at – The London Backpackers Hostel. Our daily spending was about $40 a day, that includes the hostel, train tickets, and food! There was a lot to do for free just by roaming the streets and sight seeing. The most expensive part would be the food. We hope this helps you decide if you want to visit London.