London is one of the most exciting places in the world – always things going on, never boring and full of people with outrageous dreams and ambitions, that have crazy stories to tell and are eager to live life to the fullest. In my 4 years living in this city, these 4 things have become my favourites:
The people make the city, there’s not doubt about that. London attracts some of the most eccentric, talented and interesting people. Everyone is welcome, everyone will find “their” tribe here. If you’ve felt like an outsider your whole life, here, you’ll find someone who “gets you” for sure.
„Oh, I love London Society! It is entirely composed now of beautiful idiots and brilliant lunatics. Just what Society should be.“ Oscar Wilde
No place else, I have heard so many crazy, outrageous real-life stories, that overshadow some of the fiction I have read. After having lived in London, I feel like I could write a book telling not just the “Tales of Margaritas” but tales of Dom, Bea, Jenny, Michael and many many more. And even though Brits living outside of London claim that Londoners are unfriendly, I have to disagree. In no big European city I have met so many helpful and genuinely friendly people than in London. In Vienna the employee at the bakery, Pret equivalent, won’t greet you with a “Hi, how are you?” and won’t wish you a nice day – you’re greeted by a “Yes?!” and “Thank you” is the friendliest things you’ll get out of them.
I don’t know anyone, who doesn’t like London markets. I guess the reason why is, that London has a market for everyone: from the famous Columbia Road Flower Market, to traditional markets offering a variety of fruits, vegetables, meat & fish to hip second hand, vintage and streetfood markets. Since the very first weeks of my time in London, I have made it a ritual to go to at least one market on the weekend to get my lunch. You’ll find food from all over the world for a reasonable price and usually the portion sizes are great as well.
There are bars everywhere in the world but nothing comes close to the feeling of a real pub. I especially love the ones that have been around for, not just decades, but centuries; where the tiles are from the 1800s; the name is based on a previous owner that didn’t consider hygiene a necessity (Dirty Dicks) or the Krays planned their next crime (The Blind Beggar) and the prostitutes drowned their sorrows before Jack The Ripper ended their lives (The Ten Bells). Just thinking of the people that used to come to those places way before I was even born and what they where doing there excites me in a weird way. I’m just in love with the history of those places.
But pubs can’t just rely on their history (and people like me who are fascinated by that), right? For the people that don’t give a shit about the past, pubs offer a variety of different types of alcohol (duuuuuh), pub food, live music, DJs, comedy nights, quizzes and who knows what. The local pub is always “THE” place to hang out with friends and to create memories.
4. Free Museums & Galleries
I love strolling through museums and galleries, learning more about history, different places, cultures and staring at the old masters as well as crazy contemporary artworks. But in most places museums are not for free and I have to decide which place is worth paying the admission. Not in London. Most museums and galleries are for free, even some of the most famous – like the National Gallery, British Museum, Victoria & Albert or Tate Modern. While general admission is free, the special exhibitions usually are not, but that’s fair enough.
Doesn’t matter if you’ve visited for a day or lived here for a decade… What are the things you love about London? Let me know in the comments!
And don’t forget to check out the 4 Things I HATE about London