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Whilst I am completely biased, I truly believe that London holds some of the most iconic, culturally diverse, and amazing things to do and see (shop, and eat). If you have a few hours to spare while attending LiNC Local London, be sure to go see some of my personal favorites.
Best way to get around: Google Maps!
From airports: Avoid taking a cab/Uber into Central London – it’ll be horrendously expensive and will take you 2x as long. Check Google Maps for the best way through public transport.
In and around town:
Get an Oyster Card: £5 deposit and add £9.50 per day you’re staying in London. It’s a pay-as-you-go service that is capped at £9.50/day, so what you don’t spend, you get back when you leave.
Walk! Although London is huge, Central London is best visited by foot. And even if you get lost, it’s okay – you’ll always have things to see and discover.
The London Eye: it’s fun, but overrated. And don’t consider it if you haven’t pre-booked a ticket with a time slot or you’ll just spend the day in a queue.
Oxford Street: it’s a long street filled with your standard high-street brands and souvenir shops. If you want to go shopping, head to Covent Garden instead – much nicer!
Buckingham Palace: Sorry to break it to you, but the chances that you’ll get to see a glimpse of the Queen are pretty low. The Change of the Guards happens at 11am every day, and is usually overcrowded.
What to see:
Camden Market- Home of British Punk and Grunge.
How long: ½ day to a day
How to get there: Northern Line to Camden Town (20min from Central London) (map)
If you get peckish: Go to the Street Food Market in the courtyard of the market building, and avoid the food stalls in the Stables
Camden is home to a lot of London's grunge and alternative scenes, but its Market is an experience that you can't miss - it's buzzing with loads of stalls, street food, artisans, stuff you didn't think you need, antiques, vintage shops and it’s great for just overall people watching.
During the summer, the Southbank is buzzing with open air cafes, street food, street performers and an all-round summer vibe. From there you can head Eastbound to the Tate and the Millenium Bridge, or West towards Big Ben.
Covent Garden / Chinatown / Soho - Get lost in Central London.
Start off by exploring Covent Garden’s cute and quirky market, before heading towards Leicester Square and Chinatown. Make your way up through Soho, and make sure you don’t miss Carnaby Street and visit Liberty – one of the oldest department stores in the world. From there you can either go down Regent Street and visit Picadilly Circus, or walk down Oxford Street towards Hyde Park.
Spitalfields Market - Hipster Central & Curry Galore.
How long: 2h
How to get there: Liverpool Street Station or Shoreditch High Street (map)
Less grungy than Camden, Spitalfields and Shoreditch are the up-and-coming areas of Hipster London and the home of the best curries in London down Brick Lane. Loads of small boutique shops, independent designers and pop up shops. Oh, and food. Always food.
At some point, you need to drink some Pimm’s. It’s the most English summer drink you’ll get, and it’s amazing.
If you just want to chill, London has huge parks. Why not check out Green Park after a stroll along Oxford Street, or Regent’s Park after Camden Market?